Mayor wants council to reconsider action on reattaining water rights

Two weeks ago, the Port Orchard city council unanimously approved an agreement with C&M Golf LLC that would restore the water rights to the city. A staff report stated that the water rights were assigned to C&M Golf through a mistake in the 2008 agreement.

The new agreement will protect the city’s continuing right to withdraw a total of 3,528 acre feet per year. The city’s Utility Committee recommended approval of the agreement.

At the June 24 meeting, City Attorney Greg Jacoby said in accordance with Department of Ecology requirements, the city must hold the Well 4B water rights and if the council refused to approve the agreement, the Department of Ecology would reduce the total amount of water that the city has the right to withdraw — from all of its wells — by 645 acre feet per year.

Jacoby said the city would lose 645 acre feet of water per year and wouldn’t be able to take it out of Well 9 and 10.

But Mayor Tim Matthes will ask the council at the July 8 meeting to reconsider their action.

According to the staff report, Matthes requested the reconsideration because of the following reasons:

• The public was not given adequate background information up to the vote.

• Questions concerning a May 5, 2008 agreement between the city and C&M Golf and who gave the mayor (Lary Coppola) authority to sign over the city’s water right, and should the agreement have taken council action?

• Where is Department of Ecology permit or certificate allowing C&M Golf to use the water?

• Was Department of Ecology contracted prior to 2008 agreement?

• Possible tax implications regarding the agreement and value of water to the city.

• Possible ways to accomplish Department of Ecology mandate and the city’s goal.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. July 8 at City Hall, 216 Prospect St.


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