After a year of debate and a vote that seemingly killed the possibility, sewer pipes will soon begin to be laid in Eastown.
The Bonney Lake City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a pair of ordinances that should lead to an agreement for the city to partner with landowners to develop a “backbone” sewer system, as well as change the rules regarding septic systems in the region to allow businesses to use what they have.
The council first approved a modified Utility Latecomers Agreement with the Eastown Landowners, LLC, a group of landowners in the region.
The agreement calls for a 5 percent contribution from the landowners on an approximately $2 million project, or about $97,705.
The ULA should allow the city and the landowners to recoup their investment overt the next 20 years as developers and businesses hook into the system and pay their share of the cost.
The agreement passed this past week differs from one rejected earlier this year in its scope and scale. The rejected ULA called for a $4 million project, an amount several councilmembers felt was too large.
“The scaled down version just makes much more sense,” agreed Roger Watt, owner of Emerald Links Driving Range and unofficial spokesperson of the LLC.
Watt said he and his fellow landowners were pleasantly surprised to see the council once again addressing an issue they thought was dead.
“We’ve come full circle on the deal,” Watt said.
The other major part of the Eastown package is a resolution that allows the use of septic systems in Eastown, presently illegal under the city code.
Right now, any change of use in Eastown requires that the building be hooked to the city’s sewer system, which is a problem for areas located at the far end of Eastown, well away from any connection to the sewers and therefore cost prohibitive.
The amendment would allow commercial buildings changing use to continue using the existing septic system, provided the change does not exceed the present system’s capacity.
In addition to the changes, the city of Bonney Lake will also create a $2 million fund to be used for additional infrastructure improvements as businesses begin to develop, primarily through the use of developer agreements, which come back for council approval.
With the passage of the ordinances, Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said he expects the council to authorize the ULA contract early next year with work to begin in the spring with a completion date of fall 2013.
the “backbone” project will extend the sewer system from 214th Avenue East to 226th Avenue East along 96th Street. It will also build a new sewer lift station near the intersection of 96th Street and 226th Avenue.
“It’s a scaled down version, but it does get sewer into Eastown,” Watt said. “It’s the beginning.”