Infrastructure

Quilcene’s Effort to Obtain Critical Infrastructure Improvements

Here’s information on the current BIG PUSH for pubic infrastructure improvements in Quilcene.

As you recall, the “Open and Re-Open Businesses” team determined early on that Quilcene will not be able to attract and retain businesses without commercial-level fire flow capacity and a community wastewater management system.

The following is a brief status report on our efforts to get funding for these infrastructure improvements in the Village Center (commercial) area.

This message is for your information only.

At a later time we may be asking for letters of support for grant applications. But now we just want to be sure you keep up with the action on this front.

Jefferson County is offering 50% funding for infrastructure projects that support economic development. The other 50% must be covered by grants and in-kind contributions (e.g. professional / technical services) from other agencies.

The source of the County’s grant money is its Public Infrastructure Fund (PIF). The PIF in turn receives its revenue from Washington State’s Rural Counties Economic Development sales tax credit of .09%.

The County has identified two projects for Quilcene, two from Port Townsend, and one from County government itself as contenders for this funding in 2012. The RFP for these five applicant projects will be issued Dec. 16 and the proposals are due on Jan. 27.

Quilcene Conversations is preparing our proposals in partnership with Quilcene’s Fire District #2, the Port of Port Townsend and Jefferson Co. PUD #1.

The two critical projects for Quilcene’s Rural Village Center are:

  • Expanding the capacity of the public water system that serves the Rural Village Center (which is the only commercially-zoned land in Quilcene) so that commercial-level fire suppression is available to the business properties along the US 101 corridor.
  • Conducting the feasibility / design / engineering / siting phase for a community wastewater management system.

The purpose of both of these infrastructure improvements is to enable Quilcene to regain its economic stability. Without commercial-level fire flow and functioning wastewater management the community will not be able to attract new businesses, maintain current business activity and ultimately support itself. And of course without reliable wastewater management there is also hazard that old and failing septic systems in the Village Center may eventually jeopardize ground water, Quilcene Bay and nearby rivers and streams. The further you look into Quilcene’s future the more urgent you realize these infrastructure projects are.

The cost of the fire flow project was estimated at $310,000 in June 2011 when we submitted a Letter of Interest to the County describing Quilcene’s need. Due to recently-expressed needs of other parties in Quilcene, the scope and cost of this project may increase, but not by much. The amount of matching funds we will need is likely to be between $155,000 and 200,000. We already have a commitment of approx.
$30,000 of in-kind technical expertise. Some of the remaining funding is expected to come from the Fire District, but they will not be able to provide all of the cash needed.

The cost of the design phase of the Wastewater Management project — and this is of course only the initial phase of this project — will be between $100,000 and $200,000. The “match” to the County’s grant will fall between $50,000 and $100,000.

In June we submitted Letters of Interest to Jefferson County describing the economic importance and the intended benefits of these infrastructure improvements.

If you would like to read those Letters of Interest, please email quilcene.coversati…@gmail.com with your request.

Since the County, by its own code, can fund only half the cost of any approved project, we will need to secure the remaining 50% from other agencies. Given our economic malaise and the intense competition for grant money, finding the match will be a major challenge.

If you have experience in this area and want to help, email us at quilcene.infrastructure@gmail.com

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