August 13, 2001
No assurances given on Duvall sewer capacity
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
DUVALL - There were more questions than answers at last week's second public hearing on the potentially available sewer capacity.
Consultants have told city officials that if the city's sewage treatment plant permit is revised following the completion of improvements to the facility, there will be 140 available sewer hookups.
But even that is not certain, consultants said at the hearing.
"The outfall extension is under construction," said one consultant. "If the town gets the re-rating, we hope to have the 140 spaces available, but it is not certain."
Councilmember Jeane Baldwin said legal issues could come into play that the city may not yet be aware of.
"A lot of things are mandated by the federal government and King County," she said. "We may want to do something but legally may not be able to."
City Engineer Elizabeth Goode said the aim of the public hearings is to listen to residents so the City Council can have time to think about how best to allocate those 140 hookups.
New sewage hookups have not been allowed for two years, due to limitations on the sewage treatment plant. Construction that is taking place now was approved before the building application moratorium was enacted two summers ago. Further hookups beyond the possible 140 will not be available until a treatment plant expansion is completed, about five years down the road.
Hopeful residents lined up to plead their cases at last week's public hearing, many of them members of Holy Innocents Catholic Church, which is suffering from growing pains.
Renate Oestreich, longtime resident and Holy Innocents member, reminded the council that the church had its beginnings in pioneer days.
"Catholics first met in the Dougherty house," she said. "The church was built in 1913. We have been part of the community for a long time. We are very overcrowded and ready to build a new church on the Dougherty property. What better place to build than back where it all started."
Holy Innocents member Ken Sharp explained to the council what services the church offers to the community.
"We have St. Vincents and the food pantry," he said. "We need to expand so we can continue our services."
Kristy Sullivan, representing Hopelink and Friends of Youth, said that organization has been providing health and human services to the Valley since 1987.
"We are looking at putting down roots here," she said. "We bought property here and are asking for special consideration since we take care of families."
Longtime resident Verle Bowe, who wants to divide her property into five lots, spoke at the first public hearing and again at the second, saying she needs the allocation just to provide for herself.
"I talked to the mayor and Elizabeth Goode and they told me they strongly recommend that Old Duvall be recognized for sewer requests," she said. "For me, at age 85, a five-year plan is a little long."
Residents also wanted to know whether there will be more hearings on the sewer allocations.
Mayor Glen Kuntz answered that there are opportunities to speak at the beginning of every council meeting, but there may be future meetings and council discussions on the matter that will be open to the public.
Goode, in answer to a query regarding a time frame for the allocations, said the re-rating is expected in about two months, but that the City Council needed to hear from the residents.
"The City Council needs to take time to consider this and process everything that has been said," she emphasized. "These are major decisions and this is a major deal for the community."