Marysville and the PUD only recently signed off on the agreement to transfer water service for about 4,000 residents - or about 1,800 accounts - from the utility district to the city, a series of complex negotiations that occurred over nearly a decade, and required a change in state law.
People in the Sunnyside/Soper Hill were annexed into Marysville in 2005 as part of the Sunnyside/Whiskey Ridge Annexation and would pay less for water once the transfer happens, officials say. The service area is generally located south of 52nd Avenue, west of SR 9 and east of Sunnyside Boulevard.
In 2003, the City and PUD agreed to switch over service for the annexed area, but they did not address timing for when the transfer would occur, purchase cost, or differences in water system hydraulics.
Those terms are contained in the first and second amended agreement that was recently adopted by PUD Commissioners and the City Council, and finalized with the stroke of the Mayor’s pen on May 29.
Nehring called the agreement a remarkable achievement.
“This is a substantial piece of work,” Mayor Jon Nehring said. “It’s a big win for citizens in this area who will actually see their water bills reduced from what they are paying now.”
Nehring commended Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima, Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen and City Attorney Grant Weed and their staffs for diligence during negotiations, and PUD General Manager Steve Klein and staff, PUD Commissioners and the City Council for authorizing final approval.
Negotiations overcame a major obstacle in 2011 when the City successfully championed a bill through the state Legislature that revised state law to effectively clarify the authority of PUD to sell all of part of its water system to Marysville. Nehring credited local legislators, Sens. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens and Nick Harper, D-Everett, for their bill support.
Hirashima added, “Aside from the issue at hand, what made this bill unique was that it is rare for Marysville government to get a bill passed in Olympia that is specific to Marysville, and more so in a legislative session that saw few bills passed.”
The $4.6 million purchase will be made through the city's utility fund. The switchover includes 11,823 linear feet of water mains, 101,581 linear feet of ductile iron mains, 168 fire hydrants, various associated valves and other appurtenances, and easements.
Public Works Director Kevin Nielsen said the next step will be moving forward with infrastructure improvements over the next year, with the official transfer of accounts to the city utility billing system expected later in 2013.
Key improvements include installing 6,120 linear feet (LF) of 12-inch pipe along Soper Hill Road from 87th to 71st Avenue and 4,110 LF of 16-inch pipe on 83rd Avenue between 47th and 60th Streets.