City moving forward with new road

Oak Harbor is moving forward with a project to build a new road despite a grant request being turned down.

The city council recently approved a contract with Harmsen & Associates for plans, specifications and an estimate for the Fakkema access road project.

The total negotiated cost of this preliminary work, including optional material testing, is not to exceed $78,000.

The project would build 2,000 feet of public road to provide access to 11 parcels next to the Boyer property on the north end of the city.

Seven of the 11 parcels are privately owned and zoned “C-4 highway service commercial,” and the other four are owned by the city.

According to the city, the current access is a private driveway from State Highway 20 that doesn’t meet current standards.

The state Department of Transportation has expressed safety concerns with driveway access to the highway in the area, the council packet states.

In 2019, the city applied for an Island County rural economic development grant to build the road, but the commissioners turned down the $500,000 request. During a presentation, city staff told the commissioners that only one business owned the land and access would potentially create two jobs.

The commissioners and a county staff member said they were concerned that the developer who would benefit most from the new road wasn’t bearing any of the cost and that it was too much money for too small an impact.

Cost of the work will come from the city’s street fund.

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