Citizen's group blasts PA leaders over water fight with PUD

6/16/04

Peninsula News Network

Port Angeles, WA - Members of an east side citizenís group say they are none too happy with the water showdown between Clallam County PUD and the city of Port Angeles.Ed Tuttle

The fight over the PUDís purchase of wholesale water for its own customers has been getting nastier in recent weeks, and jumped to a new level last Friday, when the city told PUD it would shutoff the tap if a new agreement wasnít reached in the next 30-days. PUD has been continuing to buy water from the city without a contract for the past 18-months. But both parties are at loggerheads over the cityís insistence that new water customers sign an agreement to not fight any future annexation into the city.

Thatís not only ruffled feathers at the utility, but also with the Bay Loop Neighborhood Association, which has been fighting annexation for the past several years. Association President Ed Tuttle says heís dismayed that the city and PUD canít work out their differences for the good of all citizens in the area.

Tuttle had already taken the city council to task a couple of weeks ago, criticizing the city for its push to extend sewer service into the eastern Port Angeles UGA in conjunction with the county, saying it should also be involving the PUD. He was back this week, chastising them again for the fight over the water contract.

City leaders have continued to say they are just trying to protect the citizens of Port Angeles and the investment they have in the cityís water system.

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Meanwhile, Clallam County PUD commissioners have scheduled a rare joint work session with Clallam County commissioners next week to discuss "utilities" for Urban Growth Areas. The work session has been scheduled for this coming Monday morning. It's expected the two boards will spend most of the time talking about plans for extending sewer service into the eastern Port Angeles UGA, as well as the fight with the city over the water contract.

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This week the PA council decided it wouldnít press to have that Urban Growth Boundary extend east of Morse Creek.

When the city first adopted its new comprehensive plan in the mid-1990s, there had been discussion of trying to include the commercial zone off Deer Park Road and Cedar Park Drive into the UGA boundaries. But city and county leaders at the time could never agree on the point, and the line was drawn instead on the western edge of the Morse Creek Valley.

This week, the council was reviewing proposed changes to the cityís comp plan and looked at the concept of extending the UGA boundary to the east. But with no apparent support for the idea from the county, council members decided to drop the idea. However, city leaders warned that they may fight further commercial development at Deer Park since it is outside the UGA.

 

 

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