The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe plans to connect its major facilities in Blyn to the City of Sequim’s sewer system this February.
Work crews in 2019 installed pipeline on the south side of U.S. Highway 101 to connect 7 Cedars Casino, administrative and business buildings, Blyn Fire Station, Jamestown Public Safety and Justice Center and the tribe’s incoming hotel/resort.
Jerry Allen, CEO of the casino and resort, said the last set of pumps at the Longhouse Market and Deli should be installed by the second week of February.
Despite snow setting construction back a week, Allen said he anticipates the tribe holding a soft opening for the new resort/hotel in early May with rooms becoming available for sale in late March.
“We’re excited,” he said.
On Jan. 27, Sequim city councilors unanimously agreed to a one-year operations and maintenance contract for city staff to oversee the connection from Blyn to the city’s Water Reclamation Facility via Whitefeather Way.
Garlington told city councilors Monday that the agreement is similar to the Carlsborg Sewer contract with Clallam County.
Part of the contract includes a city staffer spending three to five hours a day overseeing the connection at about $26,000 plus benefits, he said.
“We have capacity to do this,” Garlington said.
“We have an employee who is doing the Carlsborg Road sewer. We projected we’d be out there monitoring all the pump stations and cleaning out the lines and responding to alarms.”
City staff report the tribe plans to oversee the system after a year, once their staff has become familiar with the equipment.
In December 2018, Tribal Council Chairman W. Ron Allen said the sewer project would cost about $8.5 million, with funds coming from a 40-year loan from the federal Department of Agriculture.
Garlington said the tribe’s agreement purchased about 5 to 6 percent of the city’s reclamation facility’s capacity.
When asked about current capacity, he said the system does peak during storms, “but if you take the average we’re just slightly under 50 percent right now.”
City staff plan to increase the sewer system’s aerobic digester, the system that breaks down waste, in the future.
Ron Allen previously said the tribe purchased more capacity than they need but it allows for future growth.
The interlocal agreement signed in late 2018 by tribe and city leaders agrees to a partial waiver of sovereign immunity.
City Attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross said the contract “anticipated enough things that it gives us enough protection, that I’m confident in moving forward with this.”
City councilors agreed on Monday, 6-1, with Troy Tenneson opposed, for city staff to investigate the potential purchase of an adjacent property to the Water Reclamation Facility on Schmuck Road.
Tenneson said he opposed a potential purchase because it would take too much staff time and the system has about 50 percent capacity available.
Brandon Janisse said stormwater and water are important resources and that it’s “better to be safe than sorry.”
Mayor William Armacost said it’d be good to investigate the option of first of refusal for any potential offers.
For more information about the agreement, visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 360-683-4908.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.