The Sallal Water Association in North Bend has voted against an amendment that would have given decision-making authority to its members instead of looking solely to the board for consequential choices.
Of the 506 votes received — delivered in person and via mail — 302 people voted to reject the amendment, while 204 were in favor of the changes.
During the June 11 voters meeting, about 110 members signed-in, but the attendance was closer to somewhere between 160 to 180, said Daylin Baker, vice president of the Sallal board. That was exceptional voter turnout, she said.
“The board greatly appreciated that so many people took the time to vote on this issue,” Baker said.
At the center of the vote was a potential contract between the water association and the city of North Bend. While the association has water, it is lacking the needed resources for construction proposals.
Some members were in favor of the contract, and the needed water to continue development. Others feared any kind of agreement that allowed Sallal water to be used as a backup mitigation source to the city.
Both North Bend and Sallal ultimately pull from the Snoqualmie River. Some members feared the impacts the contract could have on the river health and the lifeforms that live there.
While the amendment would not have stopped ongoing negotiations between Sallal and North Bend, it would have required a full member vote on any contract. Other actions that involved agreements to buy, sell, transfer or supply water to other organizations would also have needed association approval.
The board has openly acknowledged its intent on making the contract a reality and will continue its pursuit for additional water. Baker said Sallal sent the city its latest revisions to a contract draft earlier in the week.