The Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District recently became aware of efforts by the City of Issaquah to take over jurisdiction of the part of the District within the Issaquah city limits. Although these efforts have been framed by Issaquah officials as merely a study, the scope of work of the $280,000 contract appears to include the complete process of taking over a portion of the District. The scope of work includes preparation of a final report for the King County Boundary Review Board, which would only be prepared if an assumption was being pursued.
Utility assumptions differ from traditional annexations. Water and sewer services provided by a special purpose district are not strictly based upon the conventional political boundaries of municipal government. Rather, the District has designed and built its system based upon the most economical delivery of services to the Sammamish Plateau’s geographic area. As such, assumption is not a
simple matter of adjusting lines on a map. Considerable infrastructure investment and construction may be required, and the outcome may have significant economic consequences for the City of Issaquah and District customers.
The city did not confer with the District prior to initiating its consultant’s
project, although there had been prior agreement between City and District
elected officials to carefully review governance and service delivery options
between the parties. On May 7, 2012, Commissioner Lloyd Warren attended the Issaquah City Council meeting on behalf of the District Board of Commissioners and requested that the City work collaboratively with the District to have an open and transparent discussion of governance and service delivery options.
Please view the following video link to Commissioner Warren’s comments
offered to the Issaquah City Council. Mr. Warren’s comments appear 6:39 minutes into the Issaquah City Council meeting of May 7, 2012.
As previously acknowledged by the Board of Commissioners, the District remains open to engaging in transparent discussions with the goal of considering service options which best serve all of the ratepayers of the District, not just those within the Issaquah city limits.
If you would like further information about this issue, please contact Jay Krauss,
District General Manager at (425) 392-6256.