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Snohomish in line for $2.2 million loan to design sewage pipeline

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By Alejandro Dominguez
Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH -- The city is near the top of the list for a loan needed to design a pipeline from its wastewater treatment plant to Everett.
The Department of Ecology is proposing to lend the city $2.2 million so Snohomish can design the pipeline. This project is one of 58 projects the department is proposing to fund next year.
It has also put Snohomish in the No. 3-priority spot in its report announced last week.
In total, the department would give $89 million from state and federal sources to projects from all over the state.
The pipeline design is part of Snohomish's $40 million project to build a five-mile underground pipeline. The proposed pipeline would travel roughly parallel to the railroad tracks along the Lowell-Snohomish Road.
The city is working on different projects aimed at reducing pollution that flows into the Snohomish River. The city's wastewater treatment plant has had problems complying with national standards for several years. As a solution, the pipeline would transfer all the city sewage to Everett.
All loans and grants from the Department of Ecology need approval from the Legislature before being distributed. The Legislature can change how much total money Ecology can give until then, fund planner Joseph Coppo said.
If the total amount is reduced, then the Department of Ecology would go through the list and reduce funding to lower-ranked projects. Since Snohomish is third on the list, it is not likely the $2.2 million would change, Coppo said.
"Snohomish is in a very good position," he said.
All projects went through an evaluation process divided into eight areas of criteria. These areas included scope of work, readiness to proceed, and how the project would improve water quality and public health.
Snohomish is getting all that it asked for, city engineer Steve Schuller said.
"That was really good news to hear," Schuller said.
Meanwhile, as the city waits for approval, it is working on building a biological filtering system for the wastewater treatment plant.
The city also is waiting for the Legislature to approve a low-interest $10 million loan from Public Works Trust Fund, Schuller said.
City staff is getting environmental permits and property easements for the proposed route of the pipeline.
Snohomish is not the only project from the county that could receive funding.
The Department of Ecology is proposing to give $238,875 to the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation to compile information on landowner practices to improve watersheds in Snohomish County.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422;
Story tags » Environmental IssuesSnohomishWaste

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