News

Sequim City Council review

Staff and council members discussed and approved the following at the June 14

Sequim City Council meeting.



Settlement on water

City councilors reached a $23,000 agreement with Bellecrest Estates residents who were being overcharged for sewer rates.

In 1990, the Bellecrest Estates homeowners, who live south of the city limits on Bell Hill, finalized a deal to enter the city's sewer system with each home paying 1.6 times the rate of city residents.

In 1999, the city formed a new two-tier payment system - a higher rate for more cubic feet of water usage and a lower rate for less usage.

In 2010, Bellecrest homeowners realized they were charged 1.6 times that of the higher tier despite not being provided water.

The city reached a similar agreement on March 23 with the Highland Hills Maintenance Commission, which was paying 1.5 times that of city residents.

Burkett said these were the only two developments with this issue.



Latecomer agreement

The council agreed upon a resolution for fees attributed to latecomer agreements, also called developer reimbursement collection agreements.

Developers aren't required to pay this fee but it opens the possibility for them to recoup some building costs.

It allows a property owner who has improved a street and/or utilities through development to recover a portion of costs of those improvements from other property owners who might later develop in the vicinity.

Councilors passed upfront fees for the latecomer agreement of:

• $500 for a base fee

• $100 per parcel created

• $350 segregation fee

The fees are in addition to already established 1 percent cost of construction with a $500 minimum.

Fees are based on staff time to administer a developer reimbursement collection agreement.

The city adopted the latecomer agreement in 1992.



Tourism/communications position created

A new marketing communications manager position could be filled in two to three months.

The city council unanimously approved a three-fourths, part-time position that pays $60,000 a year for salary and pro-rated benefits.

Half of the monies come from the hotel-motel lodging tax and the other from general funds with an extra, one-time $2,500 for computer and office furnishings.

The employee would focus on marketing needs for

Sequim, developing a marketing plan and providing information and education to the public through groups such as Sequim Speaks.

A few other responsibilities include:

• coordinate with tourism bureaus

• develop overnight stays with lodging establishments

• advise city on Web site content

• enhance city's public image

Councilor Erik Erichsen said they intend to look locally when the hiring process begins.

The job description draft can be found at www.ci.sequim.wa.us by clicking the "Council," "Agenda" and "Monday, June 14, 2010" links.



Municipal court

Sequim City Manager Steve Burkett said he is in negotiations with the Clallam County District Court about annual costs the city pays.

City officials in Sequim and Port Angeles have discussed forming a joint municipal court to save money and make it more convenient for citizens.

Burkett said he anticipates the county costs to go down and that a joint court would be unlikely at this time.



Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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