Council moves forward with sewers

CARNATION _ With little fanfare, the Carnation City Council voiced

its unanimous support of creating an overall plan for a sewer system

and wastewater treatment plant, which would then become part of the

city's comprehensive plan.

Council members voted 3-0 at their Sept. 19 meeting to go

forward with the project, with former Councilman Don Raybuck's seat

vacant. Unlike prior council meetings that have drawn large numbers of

local residents, the council made its decision in front of a mostly empty

council chamber.

Before voting, Councilwoman Joan Sharp said she thought long

and hard about the sewer issue.

"Obviously this is the most significant issue that has come before

the council in my tenure," she said.

"I am comfortable with my decision … and I'm hoping that as

this process continues, we will continue to allow a level of dialogue around

this issue."

Construction of a sewer system would consist of four phases over

a 20-year period. In its proposed plan for the project, the city's

consulting firm, Redmond-based American Engineering Corp., suggested

connecting the downtown business district and surrounding residences first, with

outlying areas of the city added over time. The first phase of construction _

building the downtown sewers and the wastewater treatment plant _ was

estimated to cost $6.2 million. In all, the project engineers said it could

take approximately $15 million to bring sewers to the entire city.

The approved motion contained several items, including:

• The city would use grinder-pump technology for waste collection.

• The preferred method of treatment would be extended

aeration activated sludge with secondary clarifiers, allowing for possible

alternatives for treating waste.

• Wastewater that went through this process would be

pumped into the Snoqualmie River.

• Reusing wastewater would be pursued by the city when it

becomes financially feasible.

• The Regal Glen subdivision will be included in the first phase

of construction.

• City property on West Entwistle Street will be used for

the treatment plant.

• Any outlay of finances not covered by grants or low-interest

loans would be backed by a connection charge, collected in advance, or by

a surcharge to the monthly service fee.

For the most part, the motion closely followed the

recommendations made by American Engineering in

its proposal, with the exception of including Regal Glen in the first phase

of construction.

One resident who addressed council members at the meeting, G.

Miller-St. Germain, said there are still a number of people who don't approve

of the project.

"I think it's been demonstrated clearly that in the past, I submitted

to you a petition that in the Brumbaugh addition, I think it was 43 of 49

that did not want the sewers," she said.

After the council voted, Carnation Mayor Bob Patterson said there is

still much to be done with the project.

"This does not, in any sense, finish or complete our action," he

said, adding that city staff will begin looking for ways to help residents

finance the cost of being connected to the sewer system.

Homeowners will be required to pay an up-front connection charge

and a monthly service fee to use the system. Those who meet eligibility

requirements could receive assistance to help offset those costs, city

officials have said.

"We will start now seriously looking for loans and grants to pay

for this," Patterson said. "What we get

will determine what we, as citizens, can pay.

"We've moved a big step forward, but we still have a lot to do."

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