Buckley OK’s final phase of Perkins Prairie development

Buckley’s housing boom will continue, as construction of 50 more single-family homes was approved for the Perkins Prairie development on the south side of town.

Formal blessing for Phase III of the ambitious project came during the City Council meeting of Aug. 8.

The Perkins Prairie project has, in recent years, transformed a vacant stretch of land between Ryan Road and existing Buckley neighborhoods. Talks between the city and developers were initiated in 2009, but put on hold while the economy went stagnant. Things picked up again in 2014 and, by early 2015, Phase I was approved for 58 lots; in late 2016, approval came for Phase II, adding an additional 60 lots.

The first two phases include homes fronting on Ryan Road and extending north toward town, served by a network of residential streets. Phase III homes take up the northeast corner of the development and access to Ryan Road will be primarily by Sergeant Street.

Phase III will bring an end to the Perkins Prairie development.

Also during their Aug. 8 meeting, members of the Buckley City Council authorized a contract that will see a complete remodel an underutilized city building.

To be renovated is a single-story building on River Avenue that is now used largely for storage. There will be new walls, roofing, doors and windows, along with utility upgrades. In the end, the building will be suitable for office space, to be used by the Public Works Department.

City Administrator Dave Schmidt pulls double-duty as Buckley’s public works director. City employee Chris Banks has been promoted to the position of utilities superintendent, Schmidt said, and will work out of the renovated space.

It was estimated the construction project would cost about $300,000, but when bids were received from four contractors, all were in excess of that amount. The best bid, for a bit more than $340,000, came from Lake Tapps Construction and was accepted. Bids ranged as high as $470,000 from a Tacoma firm.