Annexing Battelle seems likely in 2012

The city of Sequim plans to annex the site of Battelle Marine Science Lab and 104 acres near West Sequim Bay Road into the city limits by 2012.

Paul Haines, Sequim public works director, said Battelle is growing about 10 percent per year and reaching capacity with its water and sewer services.

The proposed annexation includes supplying water, sewer and new roads at an estimated cost of $8,500,000.

Steve Burkett, Sequim city manager, said most of the project would be paid for by Battelle, because it has the financial capacity, but it is waiting on finalizing a plan with its headquarters.

The city has a less expensive "Track A" project that provides water and sewer services for about $1,300,000.

Haines said Track A would be funded locally from impact fees, city funds and Battelle's support.

He anticipates the first track will be finished in late 2011 or early 2012.

Additional project tracks would intercept and improve existing lines and roads.

Staff has submitted applications for a county economic opportunity fund grant and is in talks with representatives of Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Norm Dicks for funding possibilities.

Roads would be patched until support from grants or the Washington State Department of Transportation became available. Finishing roads at different times would set the pattern for future projects because of their high cost, Haines said. Burkett said money for streets can be the last thing to go into a project.

For now, staff and city councilors feel Battelle is one of the best opportunities to create jobs in Sequim.

"It's amazing to hear what they have going on," Burkett said.

Mayor Ken Hays believes the next advance in jobs will be in renewable energy from businesses like Battelle and Sequim figures to be in the middle of it.

"This is a great opportunity for the North Olympic Peninsula and more," Hays said.

"We're in a great position to create (renewable energy) for our own use but export it as well."

"It's not just Battelle," Burkett said. "The real opportunity is the additional 104 acres to attract other businesses."

Hays said many larger businesses are eyeing the area because of what's happening now.

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