Clallam to mull taking on $10 million responsibility for Carlsborg sewers

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County will take responsibility for a $10 million state loan to build a sewer system for Carlsborg if the three commissioners approve an agreement with the Clallam County Public Utility District today.

The agreement is for the “assignment and assumption” of the state Public Works Board Trust Fund lone to construct a Class A wastewater collection, treatment and reclaimed water reuse system for the urban growth area west of Sequim.

“This is what officially takes it over,” County Administrator Jim Jones said in a work session with commissioners Monday.

“In signing these two documents, the PUD will essentially no longer have any obligation.

“We’ll be holding them harmless. We’ll be making the payments. We’ll be building it. We’ll be running it.

“And we’ll be making all those decisions from this point forward.”

Clallam County Public Works Administrative Director Bob Martin is overseeing the $13.9 million project.

The county already has spent $638,000 on sewer planning, and has set aside $4.3 million in a special fund.

Clallam County will repay the loan through its Opportunity Fund, an eight-tenths-of-1-percent sales tax used for construction of public facilities that promote economic development in rural counties, at 0.5 interest through June 2048.

The interest may be lowered by 0.25 percent if the project stays ahead of schedule.

The Public Works Board assigned the loan to the county May 3. Clallam County PUD General Manager Doug Nass signed the assignment and assumption agreement with the county last Tuesday.

“This is just simply the paperwork that accomplishes what we all have essentially agreed to,” Commissioner Jim McEntire said.

One major decision about the project remains: whether to treat the sewage at a new plant in Carlsborg or to pipe it to the existing sewer plant in eastern Sequim.

If the Sequim option is determined to be the most cost-effective, the county will negotiate an agreement with the city.

A user-fee ordinance will be discussed next year, and the project is scheduled to be finished in November 2015.

Carlsborg needs a sewer in order for its urban growth area to comply with state law.

In 2008, a Growth Management Act hearings board deemed the growth area as invalid and noncompliant because it lacked adequate infrastructure.

Carlsborg businesses, which support more than 1,000 jobs, need the urban growth area status — and thus the sewer system — in order to expand.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsula
dailynews.com.

Last modified: May 20. 2013 6:27PM
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