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Open House set for Public Works building

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SNOQUALMIE _ Forget the high-speed data lines, the new

computer equipment, the state-of-the-art construction. The city of

Snoqualmie's new Public Works Maintenance Facility has something even better:

Room. Lots and lots of room.

In fact, it boasts 16,080 square feet, enough to house three

departments and a massive city maintenance garage.

An open house will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Dec. 8, at the $1.4

million facility for Snoqualmie residents. The building is located at 38194

Stearns Road S.E., behind the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Three city departments will set up shop in the new facility — the

Building, Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments. About

5,000 square feet will be used to house those departments, which had previously

occupied the city building at 7970 Railroad Ave. S.E. That site had

previously been home to a restaurant and gas station.

Jim Tinner, building official and code enforcement officer for the

city of Snoqualmie, oversaw construction of the building. During a break

from moving into the new facility, he said the advantages of the new building

are many.

"The list is endless," he said.

Snow-removal equipment will be stored at above-freezing

temperatures. Maintenance work on city vehicles will take less time. A brand-new

computer mapping system will be able to print extremely detailed maps of

the city. And city staff will be able to check telemetry readings from the

reservoir and several lift stations.

"It's really going to be an information hub," Tinner said.

The added computer equipment will also allow city staff to create

and print newsletters, brochures and other informational items, instead of

sending them to a company to be printed.

"We can do everything in house and save lots of money," said

City Clerk Jodi Warren.

The Public Works Maintenance Facility also includes a front

counter where residents can receive permits for sewer and water hook-ups. The

maintenance bay has eight 14-foot doors for city vehicles, and a newly

installed hoist can lift even the heaviest fire engine. Any welding that needs to

be completed will be done in a special, fire-resistant room.

City employees will even have access to an exercise room,

complete with a television and treadmills.

Tinner said protecting the environment was a major concern of the

city when the facility was designed. It was built out of the floodplain, and

the floor of the maintenance bay is sloped, allowing fluids to drain to an

oil-water separator.

"Can you imagine the environmental damage with drums of oil

[being kept at the facility]?" Tinner said. "That was a major concern of

[City Administrator] Gary Armstrong and the mayor [Randy "Fuzzy" Fletcher]."

The facility was built by Cope Construction of Issaquah. Tinner

said that when compared to the cost of housing in the area, the new

building is a bargain.

"It's a pretty good bang for the buck," he said.

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