Water agreements tied to agreements on sewer line, city says

by Brian Gawley
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- City Manager Mike Quinn said Wednesday that City Hall was fielding numerous telephone calls from residents in the unincorporated area east of the city in the wake of Tuesday's impasse over a new wholesale water agreement with Clallam County Public Utility District.

``As far as the city is concerned, the ball is back in the PUD's court,'' Quinn said. ``We gave them compromises for those things they were concerned about.

``We tied the no-protest annexation agreements to the sewer project. And we said we would talk about long-term solutions.''

The compromise proposed by Quinn was that Clallam PUD water customers east of the city limit still would have to sign no-protest annexation agreements to receive new or upgraded water service.

But those agreements would not become active until the city built a sewer line to the Morse Creek area.

Business and economic development leaders have said they see the sewer line as essential to business development along U.S. Highway 101 east of the city limit.

But Dennis Bickford, Clallam PUD general manager, disputed Quinn's account, saying that everything agreed to by city and PUD staffers one day was removed from the draft contract by the next day.

He said PUD commissioners have proposed they sign the current contract covering the 18 months to the end of 2005 but without the no-protest annexation agreement clause.

Quinn said the no-protest annexation agreements can't be left out of the contract because the city is seeking the same agreements in its sewer line negotiations with Clallam County.


Anti-annexation signs return in wake of potential water shutoff to unincorporated areas east of Port Angeles

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- Add potential water rationing to the list of hot-button issues simmering in the outskirts east of the city.

Anti-annexation signs are again popping up near homes and businesses almost as fast as this year's Scotch broom crop.

Now, conservation measures to reduce water consumption could become a reality if the city shuts off water to the Clallam County Public Utility District.

And this has raised the hackles of many east-side customers already wondering about the city's next move.

The PUD and city are embroiled in a wholesale water-contract standoff that could result in the city cutting water to the utility district, reducing supply to thousands of consumers east of Port Angeles.

The issue is the city's demand that new water customers or those upgrading service in the area outside the east city limit must sign an agreement not to contest annexation at some undesignated time in the future.

The agreement would go into effect once a sewer line is installed along the U.S. Highway 101 commercial strip, which economic development supporters have pegged as Clallam County's No. 1 priority.

Hitting home

Potential water-rationing has home and business owners concerned, those interviewed said Wednesday.

``So your going to make Port Angeles beautiful and plant flowers?

``Well, duh!'' said retired bus driver Ann Luke, standing in her well-kept, well-watered backyard vegetable patch on Farrel Place at Mount Pleasant Road.

Luke, miffed by the city's threat to shut off water to the PUD, remarked that even if she could afford more property, ``they wouldn't let me water it.''

``If I had know they would put rationing on, I wouldn't have planted all this,'' said Luke, who has lived in the area 28 years.

``It looks like the city fathers are going to annex, whether we like it or not.''



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