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City roundup: Cheaper chemical set for Sequim’s icy roads

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by MATTHEW NASH

Sequim Gazette

Here are some recent happenings within the City of Sequim regarding strategies for icy roads, sewer and water plans and the parks advisory board.

Crews place different de-icer on roads

Magnesium chloride is the new de-icer of choice for the City of Sequim. Crews will use it on overpasses, hills, intersections and roundabouts that prove troublesome for drivers in icy conditions. It leaves damp streaks in a striping pattern on roads and is effective down to minus15 degrees.

 

Streets manager Mike Brandt said ideal conditions are placing magnesium chloride when roads are dry.

 

Magnesium chloride is about 85 percent less corrosive than salt with half the toxicity of baking soda. The City of Port Angeles and the Washington State Department of Transportation use it as their de-icing agent. It’s been used nationwide with no negative effect to the streets, surrounding plants or the environment.

 

The change brings cost savings in the streets department. Magnesium chloride costs the city about $500 to $1,500 per year. Road salt costs $5,000 to $8,000 per year and sand about $6,000 to $10,000 per year plus the cost of street sweeping the sand after each storm.

 

City staff plans to apply magnesium chloride to sidewalks this winter, too.

 

Contact Brandt at 683-4908 or mbrandt@sequimwa.gov with questions.

Sewer and water plans contract awarded

Two contracts were unanimously approved for Gray & Osborne to update the 2003 Sewer System Master Plan and 2008 Water System Master Plan.

 

They’ve been awarded $81,197 for the water plan and $83,342 for the sewer plan.

 

Paul Haines, public works director, said the plans provide comprehensive system and funding plans, support growth projections, land use changes, regional service opportunities and achieve regulatory compliance.

 

Updates to the plans are required and will forecast a 20-year plan with a tentative completion by the end of 2012. Haines said the plans support the comprehensive plan, which also is being updated.

 

“What we know is past utility plans were based on aggressive growth rates,” he said. “The plans give us a better picture of when we need to have things in place that affect the cost to development and the public.”

 

Strategies will be included for the city as a water and sewer service provider and to review the city’s service rates and general facility charges.

 

The contracts come under staff estimates of $100,000 for water and $120,000 for sewer plans with Steve Burkett, city manager, able to amend the contract for up to 15 percent of the total contract if needed.

New park board name

City councilors unanimously voted Nov. 28 to change the name of the Citizens Advisory Park Board’s name to the City of Sequim Park and Recreation Board.

 

Board members requested the change to better reflect their purpose and direction.

 

Councilors amended membership of the board to consist of up to eight members with at least five residing within the city limits. No board functions change with the decision.

 

The Sequim City Council meets 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, at the Clallam Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St., with a public hearing on the Critical Areas Ordinance update.

 

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