Cityhood: Decision day for Silverdale on incorporation

SILVERDALE — It's Decision Day for Silverdale residents on whether to incorporate their community as a city.

If approved, Silverdale would be Kitsap’s third-largest city, with approximately 19,140 residents. Bremerton is the largest city, with 39,051 residents; Bainbridge is the second-largest, 23,025.

Ballots were mailed Jan. 25 to approximately 9,000 registered voters. Kitsap County election officials said they anticipate about a 50 percent voter turnout. That means, Silverdale could become a city with approximately 2,300 votes in favor.

Polls close at 8 p.m. Results will be posted on the Kitsap County Auditor Elections website.

Proponents of incorporation say cityhood will give residents more local say in the community's future, as well as local control over planning, public safety and other community issues.

Cityhood would also keep closer to home millions of dollars a year in sales tax revenue that is generated in Silverdale, home of Kitsap Mall. The Kitsap County Board of Commissioners Office compiled this report on the economic impacts of Silverdale incorporation.

"Here is some basic data regarding sales tax, road levy and stormwater fee impacts of incorporation, as well as some details regarding existing infrastructure and future needed capital improvements in the area," wrote Eric Baker, special projects manager in the Commissioners Office.


Below is data regarding certain revenues generated by the Silverdale incorporation area. This is not an exhaustive list and only includes the main local revenues sources that would be affected by the Silverdale incorporation.

Retail Sales Tax Revenue

Local sales tax revenue comes in three categories: retail, criminal justice and jail and juvenile services. The last two are unaffected by incorporation, with those funds continuing to go to Kitsap County after incorporation to provide key regional law and justice services. It is retail sales tax that would largely be redirected from Kitsap County to a future City of Silverdale, but not entirely. Kitsap County would still retain 15 percent of all retail sales tax revenue after incorporation.

Kitsap County has estimated that a Silverdale incorporation would reduce the amount of retail sales tax received by Kitsap County by more than $7 million, or roughly 8.7 percent of the General Fund.

Local Road Tax Revenue

Kitsap County also receives property tax revenue in the form of a road levy. This levy is separate from the General Fund and is used for road planning, maintenance and construction efforts but also includes law and justice funding to the Sheriff, Prosecutor and Clerk’s Office.

Road tax revenues within the Silverdale incorporation boundary would either cease or be redirected (either partially or entirely) to the remainder of unincorporated Kitsap, with the potential of reducing County revenues up to $3.5 million or 13 percent of the Road Fund.

Stormwater Fees

Kitsap County also receives stormwater fees for the maintenance and construction of water quantity and quality facilities countywide. These fees for the Silverdale incorporation area account for $658,000 or 8 percent of Kitsap’s privately-paid stormwater fees and would cease at the time of incorporation.


Along with revenues, the Silverdale incorporation area includes existing infrastructure and the need for future improvements to parks, sewer, stormwater and roads systems. Below is a list of certain facilities and their future improvement needs.

Existing Infrastructure

The Silverdale incorporation area includes substantial existing urban infrastructure including parks, facilities, roads, trails, stormwater facilities, pump stations and sewer mains. For example, the Silverdale incorporation area includes more than 241,000 feet of stormwater pipe, 3,200 feet of swales, 2,376 catch basins, 13 retention facilities, and 41 detention facilities. All of this infrastructure requires annual monitoring and maintenance.

Most of this monitoring and maintenance becomes the responsibility of the City upon incorporation, provided either through contract or new City staff. However, while the ownership of local roads transfers automatically to a future city after incorporation, the ownership of parks, wastewater and stormwater facilities must be negotiated with the new city. For example, any transfer of ownership of the Central Kitsap Community Campus, currently owned by Kitsap, would have to be specifically negotiated and publicly-approved prior to any future transfer.

Capital Projects

Through the 2012 Comprehensive Plan and its associated Capital Facilities Plans, Kitsap County has identified numerous capital projects in need of construction in the next 12 years (through 2025) to serve the existing and future population of the Silverdale Incorporation area. These projects include sewer, stormwater and road improvements totaling $58.35 million.

Sewer: Kitsap County has projected the need for seven sewer conveyance projects including pipeline and pump station upgrades along Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale Way and Bayshore Drive. The estimated cost of these projects is just over $21.1 million. These projects and related cost estimates do not include the area’s share of wastewater treatment plant improvements.

Stormwater: Kitsap County has projected the need for four stormwater projects in the Silverdale incorporation area. These projects include stormwater detention and water quality improvements near Ridgetop Boulevard., Strawberry Creek and Silverdale Way at a cost of $3.45 million.

Roads: Kitsap County has projected the need for 11 major road improvement projects within the Silverdale Incorporation area. These projects included road widening, bridge replacement and signal improvements to Bucklin Hill Road, Ridgetop Boulevard, Silverdale Way, Anderson Hill Road and Myhre Road at a cost of more than $33.7 million.

See also "The pros and cons of Silverdale cityhood" and editorial "Educate, then vote."


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