How Brightwater agreement would be broken down

The long-running fight between Snohomish and King counties over the Brightwater sewage treatment plant could finally be winding down.

A document obtained by The Herald shows King County agreeing to pay $70 million to offset the impact of building the sewage treatment plant in south Snohomish County.

Earlier in the negotiations, Snohomish County asked King County to pay $80 million, and King County offered to pay $50 million.

Tom Fitzpatrick, Snohomish County executive director, said documents have been passed back and forth between the counties as part of negotiations, but a final deal has not been reached.

“We are continuing our negotiations and have not reached an agreement,” Fitzpatrick said.

The $70 million would be spent on such things as building parks, roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and fish protection.

The draft agreement also says a hearing examiner would be hired to oversee construction of the $1.48 billion treatment plant.

The document spells out details for managing odor at the treatment plant and specifies that the project be designed to contain up to 5.5 million gallons of spilled sewage or chemicals.

That provision is to ensure no sewage leaves the plant in the event of catastrophic earthquake.

The agreement requires that King County dig an earthquake trench under the building where chemicals used in the sewage treatment process would be stored. It falls short of requiring that King County trench the entire site, something Brightwater opponents have asked for in litigation and at public hearings.

The agreement also calls for several pending lawsuits between the two counties to be dropped.

A member of the Sno-King Environmental Alliance, which opposes Brightwater, provided a copy of the draft agreement to The Herald.

Members of that group continue to maintain that an active earthquake fault found under the site is evidence that the entire site should be trenched for faults.

“In the face of a mountain of expert-supported evidence, Snohomish County is electing to disregard the safety of its citizens and has elected to take the money and run,” said Linda Gray, an alliance member.

Here’s how the $70 million would be spent:

* $16.9 million: Maltby Community Park. This 40-acre park would be located within four miles of the treatment plant.

* $8 million: Tambark Creek Park. This park would provide both active and passive recreation.

* $5.5 million: Land acquisition for new parks.

* $2.95 million: King County would build and operate a community center.

* $1.63 million: Snohomish-Woodinville Road would be widened to three lanes.

* $12.2 million: Sidewalks and bicycle lanes would be installed on 228th Street SE between 39th Avenue SE and Highway 9.

* $4.6 million: Sidewalks would be installed on 45th Avenue SE between 204th Street SE and 212th Street SE.

* $7.42 million: Four sidewalk and trail projects would be undertaken.

* $10.8 million: Fish habitat on Little Bear Creek and other streams in the Brightwater area would be improved.

Herald writers Scott North and Jeff Switzer contributed to this report.

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