Historic pact ends years of talks

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SNOQUALMIE - A plan aimed at reducing a chronic flooding problem along the Snoqualmie River reached a critical milestone in its 30-year history when an agreement by the three parties sponsoring the endeavor was signed last week.

The signing of the agreement by King County, U.S. Corps of Engineers and city of Snoqualmie officials paves the way for the Snoqualmie 205 Flood Reduction Project to go out to bid in upcoming months. The project is expected to impact about 650 flood-prone homes, schools and buildings in the area.

"I'm speechless," said Snoqualmie Mayor Fuzzy Fletcher after the signing that included King County Executive Ron Sims and Col. Ralph Graves of the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

The project is expected to reduce flooding in the city by blasting away a section of the banks of the Snoqualmie River above the Falls. Those banks have created a bottleneck in the area that has been targeted as contributing to water backing up and flooding hundreds of homes and other structures. The project will also remove a ramshackle railroad bridge that is no longer used, but continues to catch debris during flooding.

The U.S. Corps of Engineers estimates the project will prevent damages of an estimated $837,000 per year on average.

The cost of the project is estimated at $3.83 million dollars, of which the Corps would pay $2.2 million, King County $894,000 and the city of Snoqualmie $717,000.

The sponsors of the project said they're ready to move the process ahead and lauded the efforts of all involved.

"This is a time where federal, county and city governments are all willing to work together for one common goal," said Fletcher.

Added Sims: "This is how it's supposed to work."

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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