Spokane County officials ran some ideas for extending sewers to the suburbs past a Valley crowd of 250 Wednesday night.
They got mixed reactions.
“Sounds reasonable,” one woman said after hearing the proposal explained by Seattle consultant John Maxwell, who is helping county officials write a 20-year sewering plan.
But a man at the meeting held in the Horizon Junior High School auditorium called the proposal a recipe for disaster.
“This plan that they’re talking about is based on the wants and needs of the developers, not the citizens of this county,” he said.
Another woman summed it up pretty well.
“You could talk to everyone in here and get a different opinion,” she said.
Opinions are what county utility officials want.
They’re in the process of drafting a new sewering plan and are looking for all the input they can get.
Wednesday’s workshop was one of four scheduled throughout the county - two in the Valley and two on the unincorporated North Side.
Officials hope to compile comments gathered at the meetings and use them to formulate a new sewer policy to be implemented next year.
Right now, they’re contemplating a $180 million program that would install pipes and pumping equipment in most of the urbanized Valley and North Side by the year 2010.
They’re also toying with several financing mechanisms.
One of them includes doing away with the current utility local improvement districts (ULID’s) and implementing a revenue bond program.
One thing’s for sure: The cost to the individual resident will be more.
Right now, the county picks up an average of 53 percent of the cost for sewer construction.
But rising construction costs and decreasing state grants will put more of an onus on property owners, Maxwell said.
One way officials are considering offsetting the cost is by increasing the general facilities charge - a one-time fee used to pay for construction of sewer lines - from $555 to about $1,075.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: SEWER WORKSHOP Spokane County will hold another sewer workshop on Nov. 28 at Centennial Middle School, 915 N. Ella. The workshop begins at 7 p.m.