Jan. 15, 2014: For the benefit of our citizens and ratepayers, the City of Issaquah and Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District have negotiated to resolve issues related to the Lower Reid Infiltration Gallery (LRIG) and assumption.
A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was approved by the District’s Board of Commissioners on Jan. 13, 2014. Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler also signed the agreement, and the Issaquah City Council will discuss it during its Jan. 21 meeting.
The City and District recently participated in several meetings, along with the City of Sammamish and the state’s Department of Ecology, that were focused on good-faith negotiations.
“While there are varying viewpoints on this issue, we agreed to focus our resources on quality service – and not litigation,” said Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler. “It took a lot of effort to get to this point, and this agreement forms a great foundation of trust as we work together on future issues.”
The District’s general manager, Jay Krauss, agreed. “It’s important for two units of government to work together rather than pursue separate courses that are independent of one another. The public will be best served by this agreement.”
The MOA includes the following:
• The City will decommission its current LRIG stormwater system in 2014.
• The District will pay the City $1 million to decommission the LRIG and build a new stormwater management system that will not connect to the aquifer.
• If the City determines to proceed with an assumption of the District within the next 10 years, the City would only do so with the District’s consent.
• Within three years, the City and District – along with the City of Sammamish – will discuss governance and delivery options for utility services.
The terms of the MOA are in anticipation of, and contingent upon, a formal interlocal signed between the City and District by March 17, 2014.