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Sewer plant will continue operating without agreement with city

West Sound Utility District will continue operating and managing the sewer treatment plant.

That decision comes on the heels of a 4-3 vote Feb. 25 by the Port Orchard city council not to approve an interlocal agreement between the two entities at their Feb. 25 meeting.

The purpose of the interlocal agreement for the management and operations of the wastewater treatment facilities is to formalize new terms and conditions for the partnership relative to ownership, management and operations of the South Kitsap Water Reclamation Facility (SKWRF) located in Annapolis.

WSUD General Manager Mike Wilson, who was present during the council meeting, said nothing will change.

“Nothing is going to happen with the sewer treatment plant as we will continue to manage and operate it until we work out an agreement,” Wilson said last week. “It was disappointing they didn’t pass it.”

Wilson said the city and district started working on the agreement in June 2012.

WSUD commissioners unanimously approved an interlocal agreement with the city during their Feb. 12 special meeting.

“It’s just a little bump in the road, I guess,” he said. “We’re working effectively together for another agreement together.”

Wilson said the district and city staff — administratively — need to get “some things fixed.”

“Our financial statements don’t report clearly as to the ownership of the plant and it’s been festering for so many years and it’s not been officially resolved,” said Wilson. “We both report on our financial statements we own it on a 50-50 basis, but we need an agreement that says that.”

Wilson said Thursday that he hasn’t met with his board of commissioners because one is out of town and will not return until mid-March.

“We thought we could get this done in six months and it’s been almost two years,” Wilson said. “It’s a little frustrating. We got all the information and data, we just need to make sure all the questions the city council has asked have been answered.”

Port Orchard Councilman John Clauson said Tuesday the proposed interlocal agreement speaks to the ownership of just one-half of the joint project.

“I think if we are going to deal with ownership we need to include the total project: plant, pitfall, Marina pump station and the force main,” he said. “If we are not going to address the total facility, then let’s just replace the operating agreement that has expired.”

The council unanimously approved a motion for three of the four councilmembers (John Clauson, Cindy Lucarelli, Jerry Childs or Fred Chang) who voted against the agreement to work with the city attorney and meet with WSUD, then come back within 30 days with a recommendation for the council.

 

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