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County Asking Public Comment On Sewer

For most homeowners, the big question concerning sewering in North Spokane is “when” and “how much.”

While the Oct. 26 North Side Voice article “Northbound Line” may have shed some light on this very complex subject, it appears there is still a cloud of confusion concerning some issues as they relate to sewering North Spokane.

North Spokane has been one of those areas where Spokane County Public Works had no plans to extend sewer service.

However, things change.

As development continued in the North Spokane area, the Spokane County Board of Commissioners became concerned about the impacts to the aquifer that flows beneath this region. Without grant monies, sewering was many years away in the north unless residents wanted to pay the entire bill.

But the state’s Growth Management Act came along and provided Spokane County the opportunity to enact a one-fourth of 1 percent increase on the real estate excise tax on home sales. This money could be used for capital improvements, including sewers.

While not all who pay this tax are going to benefit from the North Spokane sewer project, they will benefit through other capital projects, such as road improvements, construction of parks and enhancements to our county golf courses.

A sewer interceptor was a perfect use of these funds in North Spokane.

The construction you see going on in North Spokane now is the installation of the North Spokane interceptor. This system is not meant to serve every property directly.

Instead, the interceptor’s purpose is to provide the backbone of a sewer facility. In some cases, residents can connect directly to the interceptor where topography allows.

Areas targeted for immediate sewering are based on the Spokane County Health Department’s standards.

However, residents not targeted through can connect by creating a utility local improvement district, or ULID. These taxing districts can be created to fund sewer lines by a petition process, but there is no county subsidy allowed unless the area falls within the priority area.

In the coming weeks Spokane County Division of Utilities will hold a series of meetings in North Spokane and the Spokane Valley detailing our ideas for future sewering and funding. We will also be soliciting public feedback on these topics.

Spokane County encourages residents to attend these meetings and help direct the future of sewering in Spokane.

The future funding of sewers will go before the board of County Commissioners sometime in early 1996 but before the North Spokane sewer interceptor is activated.

, DataTimes MEMO: Dennis Scott is the public works director for Spokane County.

Dennis Scott is the public works director for Spokane County.