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Manchester LID moves forward — slowly but surely

More than 378 Manchester residents affected by another proposed Local Improvement District (LID) have an additional month to decide whether or not to lend their support to the project, which would extend the Manchester Sewer system southward along Colchester to Mile Hill for $30,000 per parcel.

A public meeting on the proposed LID NO. 9 late last month drew 122 people, said Ron Rada, who chairs the Sewer Committee for the Manchester Community Council (MCC).

Rada is a proponent of the extension and has worked through the MCC to bring several others to fruition in recent years.

RH2 Engineering’s Paul Gilligan, who is also a MCC member, reported at the meeting that preliminary estimates project it will cost each parcel owner between $22,600 and $26,300 to put the pipe in the ground.

Add to that a $3,600 fee per connection from Kitsap County for use of the Manchester sewer plant, plus the costs each property owner would incur to connect.

The $26,300 figure assumed one assessment for every existing lot in the LID. The $22,600 comes from an alternative assessment method, in which large parcels would be charged assuming they would be broken up in the future into half-acre lots, each paying an assessment.

That would create 438 “equivalent” lots, 60 more than exist today.

That would increase the cost considerably for large lot owners. One of them, Gene Brady, said it would cost him more than $160,000 to be part of the LID.

“I think the way it’s going to go forward is one parcel, one hookup,” Rada said. “That’s the fairest and most accurate way.”

Barry Loveless of Kitsap County’s wastewater division said no decisions about the preferred method of assessment have been made.

“The consensus (of the meeting) was to convene another meeting at a later date to present more information on potential assessments before circulating the petition for property owners’ consideration,” Loveless said at the meeting. “The county will continue to provide information and support to the project proponents and property owners, but we cannot take any official action until the project proponents provide a petition.”

Another meeting is scheduled for next month.

Forming the LID would be up to the county commissioners and would require approval from owners of a 51 percent majority of the land area, giving large land owners a greater say in the outcome.

“We did have about a half a dozen sign the petition at the meeting, but we’re not there or anywhere close. We’ve had some concern, especially from seniors who don’t want to get priced out of their homes,” Rada said, pointing out that there are exceptions for seniors and some low-income families — the amount due for the new sewer and hookup becomes a lien on the property to be settled when it is sold.

Rada said the whole process could take several years to complete because of the sheer magnitude of the project.

LID No. 8 is on schedule. Construction on the 33-parcel LID will commence on Jan. 1.

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