Everett council fast-tracks sewer pipe fix

EVERETT — The Everett City Council passed an emergency resolution Wednesday night so crews could get to work faster replacing a faulty sewer pipe that collects the waste of 15,000 people.

That pipe ruptured April 12 in the 11800 block of Silver Way, sending 1 million gallons of raw sewage through one Everett man’s yard and into nearby North Creek.

Afterward, a forensic analysis showed that other parts of the pipe are susceptible to breaks.

“We have no indication it’s imminent but we want to prevent it from happening,” Dave Davis, public works director said.

By declaring an emergency, the city can accelerate the bidding process and award a contract later this month. The project budget is $1.8 million.

The resolution includes a provision for the wronged homeowner too. It gives the mayor the authority to settle property damage claims.

In this case, only one homeowner is expected to file a claim. City Attorney Jim Iles said he expects that claim to be around $200,000. The city is self-insured so it will pick up the tab.

That bypasses the normal way the city handles damage claims.

Councilman Drew Nielsen floated an amendment that would have sent that claim through the normal process, but he didn’t have support from his colleagues.

“It’s not a good precedent to allow $200,000 or more to be dispensed without council having oversight,” he said Thursday.

The city opted to have the mayor settle the claim because it would get the money to the homeowner faster, city spokeswoman Kate Reardon said.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197; dsmith@heraldnet.com.

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