City of Lake Stevens requests Sewer District accelerate merger
On Monday, April 15 the Lake Stevens City Council Sewer Subcommittee formally requested that the Lake Stevens Sewer District Commissioners consider accelerating a merge with the City. The basic reasons behind this action are to help stabilize rates and to ensure coordination of land use planning especially with the City’s ongoing economic development strategy.
In 2005 the City of Lake Stevens and the Lake Stevens Sewer District entered into the Unified Sewer Services and Annexation Agreement to transition the public sewer service from two systems to one and ultimately as a City system.
The combining of systems was done in anticipation of the long term economies of scale of a single service provider that would benefit the entire community. The Unification Agreement also included the eventual transfer of the combined system to the City of Lake Stevens to become a department operating under City government.
City Officials believe there are a number of similar services currently being provided by both agencies in the areas of administration, management, planning, facilities, and maintenance and by combining the two agencies it is expected that there will be some real cost savings to providing sewer service.
Preliminary financial review shows there is a potential cost savings of $750,000-$1.3 million dollars a year with the elimination of redundancies and the sharing of resources.
Mayor Vern Little commented, “With the majority of the 11,000 customers receiving sewer services being residents of the City and recognizing an opportunity to gain savings for our citizens by this action, this is the right move.”
At the April 22, 2013 Lake Stevens City Council meeting, the Council unanimously directed City staff to begin working with the Sewer District on a transition plan for sewer services.