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PUD answers critics of Carlsborg sewer proposal
A three-page letter from the Clallam County Public Utility District responding to Carlsborg residents upset about a proposed sewer system begins by noting that none of them lives within the project boundaries.
In October, a letter signed by six Carlsborg residents contained 40 questions about the proposed sewer system for the PUD and Clallam County. The authors, belonging to a group called Citizens for the Preservation of Carlsborg, requested supporting documentation for each of the 40 questions, which ranged from why Carlsborg is designated an urban growth area to how much property owners would be assessed for the sewer system.
The sewer system is proposed to bring the Carlsborg Urban Growth Area into compliance with the Growth Management Act. It was ruled to be non-compliant in 2008. Though the ruling is being appealed by the county, county and PUD officials also are forming plans and seeking funding for a wastewater treatment and water reuse project.
Doug Nass, PUD general manager, begins the Nov. 17 letter addressed to Susanne Severeid van Renterghem by thanking her for the original letter, noting that the signatories do not live within the proposed local utility district boundaries, and nevertheless offering explanations in an effort to educate the public.
Severeid van Renterg-hem’s letter asked, “Why are we being burdened with something we do NOT want, and during these hardship economic times?”
In response, Nass reiterated the PUD’s intention that the final decision to construct a sewer system will be based upon the support of the landowners within the area of the proposed local utility district (LUD).
“This project will be built only when and if a financing plan can be developed that is acceptable to a majority of the landowners within the proposed LUD,” he wrote.
The proposed district boundaries were set in August 2010 and based on a petition of support signed by landowners.
Inside the LUD
Nass said there are 200 to 220 parcels within the proposed LUD boundaries. The full build-out analysis, included in the sewer facilities plan, includes about 3,300 parcels, which would be reached in about 60 years, he said.
“The district does not intend to require landowners whose parcels are located within the proposed LUD to hook up to the sewer system, though the district does not know whether connection to the sewer system may be required by other agencies,” he said.
As far as costs, the estimated monthly operations and maintenance cost per customer is $60 and will only be billed to active sewer customers, he said.
Hook-up fees are unknown at this time since they are contingent upon how much funding is acquired.
Severeid van Renterghem, who lives within the 60-year build-out area though not within the current proposed district boundaries, said she still has concerns about cost and is still waiting for a response from the county.
In the PUD letter Nass states there is not a method for determining the assessment amount yet.
“So we have a situation where the powers-that-be do not yet even have a method for calculating the assessment amount?” Severeid van Renterghem said.
She replaced her septic four years ago and expects it to last many more years.
“We haven’t asked for it (a sewer system), we don’t need it, we don’t want it,” she said.