Snohomish County water projects to get $11 million

By John DeWeese
Everett Herald Writer

July 28, 2002

Eight agencies in Snohomish County will receive state and federal funds in 2003 for projects ranging from improving fish habitats to preventing pollution in local lakes and rivers. The total amount of funds allotted to local agencies is nearly $11 million.

Who's getting what

A list of Snohomish County agencies being offered loans or grants in 2003 for water quality programs, for a total of $10.9 million:

Stanwood, wastewater treatment plant upgrade, $4.2 million grant, $4.3 million loan over 20 years.

Monroe, Eastside interceptor, $1.3 million loan over 20 years.

Snohomish County, Snohomish River pollutant diagnosis and implementation, $359,080 grant.

Snohomish Conservation District, small-farm water quality improvements, $204,375 grant.

Stillaguamish Tribe, Portage Creek subbasin restoration, $187,500 grant.

Jorgenson Slough Restoration, $163,500 grant.

Snohomish Health District, drainfield awareness implementation project, $60,000 grant.

Lake Stevens, erosion control kiosk, $39,720 loan over 19 years.

Granite Falls, receiving water and effluent study, $37,337 loan over 20 years.

Source: State Department of Ecology Fiscal Year 2003 Draft Offer and Applicant List

The state Department of Ecology received 119 requests and will consider 72 proposals. While each grant decision is open for public debate until Sept. 30, the total amount of grants and funds for improving water quality statewide totals $146.5 million.

The Stillaguamish tribe plans to use $351,000 in grants for the preservation of Portage Creek and a new tide gate at Jorgenson Slough.

"We've spent a lot of time researching the watershed, studying what's driving the decline of the coho salmon," said Pat Stevenson, Stillaguamish environmental program manager.

Planned improvements include replacing culverts, building fences to keep livestock out of the water, and replanting vegetation along Portage and Church creeks. The tide gate will keep silt from building up at Jorgenson Slough.

"It's a constant headache for the flood control district and a blockage for fish," Stevenson said.

Snohomish County applied for $359,000 to protect sections of the Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers from runoff pollution, as well as providing education to landowners on how to prevent spills.

"This type of work is what we're doing throughout the county," said Meg Moorehead, Snohomish County surface water management supervisor. "The grant allows us to supplement local funding with state government funding."

Funds for the program come from three distinct sources.

The Centennial Water Fund uses money collected from the state's tobacco tax proceeds to fund programs. The State Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Fund provides low-interest loans to local programs and is funded in part by the money repaid by former recipients.

The Department of Ecology will allow a month of public review before locking in the funding.

"We will finalize the list by Sept. 30 and make a formal offer of funds," said Kim McKee with the Ecology Department.

You can call Herald Writer John DeWeese at 425-339-3292
or send e-mail to

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