Sewer services changes sought in Lake Stevens

LAKE STEVENS — The city of Lake Stevens and the Lake Stevens Sewer District are beginning talks to bring all sewer services under city government.

The original plan, adopted in 2005, was for the merger to take place within two decades of a new treatment plant’s construction.

Now officials want to talk about whether the merger could happen sooner to save money, city administrator Jan Berg said.

“It’s worth the discussion to look at it and see if it makes sense,” she said. “It’s still at a really preliminary state.”

In the 2005 agreement, the city transferred sewer services to the district. The agreement said the two agencies should plan for the sewer district to eventually dissolve and become a city department.

The agreement was designed to accommodate projected population growth and to share costs on a $102 million treatment plant. The recently completed plant at Highway 204 and Ninth Street SE was needed to upgrade operations to meet newer environmental standards, according to the district.

The city and the district already have a shared committee that meets about once a month.

Officials now aim to form a smaller committee to explore the merger idea and bring a proposal back to the larger group, district commissioner Brent Kirk said Tuesday.

They’re still sorting out who’ll be on the smaller committee, he said.

“They’ll look at the specifics and different options and how to implement something down the road,” he said.

Both the city and the district would have to agree on a final plan, Berg said.

Because of annexations and growth, Lake Stevens in recent years has roughly doubled in size and tripled in population.

The sewer district serves about 32,000 people over seven square miles. The majority of its customers are within city limits.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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