Cascade Water Alliance outlines long-term regional water supply

January 3, 2012

Cascade Water Alliance leaders outlined a plan Dec. 30 to secure water for Issaquah and the region in the decades ahead.

The nonprofit organization purchases water from Seattle Public Utilities, but the water bought from the utility is due to start declining in 2024 as the Cascade Water Alliance switches to other sources. Then, in 2030, officials plan to start drawing water as needed from Lake Tapps in Pierce County.

The information is contained in the transmission and supply plan — a document outlining the water systems in alliance member jurisdictions and plans for the future. Residents can also weigh in, as the plan is open for public comment until Jan. 31.

The regional alliance includes the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Issaquah and Bellevue, plus other Eastside and South King County cities and water districts. The agency serves about 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses.

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Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials consider water rate hike

December 13, 2011

Less than a month after the City Council raised water rates for most Issaquah customers, the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District is considering a hike next year to offset losses related to the cool, soggy summer.

District officials blame the weather, in part, for water revenues coming in about 8 percent below budget in 2011. The cloud cover and moderate temperatures meant fewer people watered lawns — resulting in lower water consumption and less money for the district.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County.

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Council recommends study for pool financing

December 6, 2011

The city intends to survey Issaquah School District residents about support for financing a pool and other parks amenities next year.

City Council members included the pool proposal and others on a list of changes to the 2012 city budget.

In October, Mayor Ava Frisinger sent to the council a $32 million general fund budget — dollars used to fund police and fire services, community development and planning, parks and recreation, and municipal government.

Overall, the council’s recommended changes amount to $4.1 million. The change to the general fund is $469,784.

The total proposed city budget — including dollars for capital expenses and from other accounts — is $85.7 million after the council’s recommended changes.

The budget adjustment is routine. The council offers changes to the mayor’s proposed budget each year to produce a concrete spending plan.

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City planners consider proposal to build subdivision on steep site

July 26, 2011

The city Planning Department could decide soon on a 43-lot subdivision near Providence Point, but the site along Southeast 43rd Way could pose challenges.

Bellevue architect Dennis Riebe proposed the subdivision on 11.97 unoccupied acres along the south side of the street, across from Providence Point and west of the Forest Village neighborhood.

The project proposal includes single-family detached residences and townhouses. The site is zoned for single-family homes on small lots.

The plan also includes proposals for road-frontage improvements and access to Southeast 43rd Way.

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Few candidates face challengers in local races

June 14, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on June 10, as the candidate-filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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Councilman, school board members face challengers

June 10, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. June 10, 2011

Issaquah residents face a choice in a single City Council race, and a trio of council members appears likely to cruise to election unchallenged.

Challenger TJ Filley entered the race against incumbent Councilman Joshua Schaer on Friday, as the candidate filing period closed.

Incumbent Councilman Fred Butler, appointed Councilwoman Stacy Goodman and candidate Paul Winterstein did not attract opponents for the other council seats up for election in November.

In the races for the Issaquah School Board, incumbents Brian Deagle and Suzanne Weaver face challengers in the nonpartisan races.

Deagle, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since October 2006. Challenger Patrick Sansing, a Sammamish resident, is running against Deagle for the Director District No. 3 seat.

Weaver faces Maple Valley resident Joseph Arnaud and Issaquah resident Brian Neville to retain the Director District No. 5 seat. Weaver, a Sammamish resident, has served on the board since January 2007.

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Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District rates to increase

May 24, 2011

Rates for water and sewer service rise for some Issaquah residents June 1, as the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District confronts a cool economy and increased costs.

The increase amounts to about 13 percent overall — or a $6.74 monthly hike for the average ratepayer.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County. The district is in the process of annexing Issaquah’s Overdale Park neighborhood.

The district’s commissioners approved the rate increase in a 4-1 decision May 23, increasing water rates by 12.7 percent and sewer rates by 13.5 percent — the largest increase the district has made in at least five years.

District General Manager Jay Krauss and Finance Manager Angel Barton cited the down economy, sluggish construction market and increases in the costs of doing business for the 51-employee agency. High gas and electricity prices, as well as employee wages and benefits, also contribute to the rate hike.

Overall, the district serves more than 16,000 customers in Issaquah, Sammamish and unincorporated King County. Beyond the district, Issaquah provides water and sewer service to most city residents, although Bellevue handles the Greenwood Point area along Lake Sammamish.

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City confronts slippery situation: grease-clogged pipes

May 17, 2011

Council creates regulations to limit damage to sewer system

In a maneuver more common to cardiologists than City Council members, the city enacted a step May 2 to unclog the pipes looping beneath streets, like arteries inside the human body.

The council approved a measure to create regulations for grease and other oily discharges from businesses. Supporters said cutting out the fat could lead to reduced maintenance costs from clogged and damaged pipes in the long term.

“It definitely is going to benefit the city,” Councilwoman Eileen Barber said before the unanimous decision. “As we all know, a lot of these fats and greases that go into our sewer actually create some kind of bacteria that eat our pipes. So, it is definitely beneficial for all of us, as citizens, to begin to save that.”

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Customers can receive rebate on ‘green’ showerheads

April 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 12, 2011

Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Water Alliance teamed up to offer instant rebates on high-efficiency showerheads.

PSE customers can receive a $10 instant rebate off several WaterSense showerhead models. The after-rebate price to customers ranges from 95 cents and $27, depending on the model.

WaterSense showerheads use no more than 2 gallons of water per minute; standard showerheads use 2.5 gpm or more.

Customers can receive the rebated showerhead by ordering online or printing a coupon to redeem for qualifying models at participating Lowe’s stores through May 15.

In order to qualify, customers must live in a single-family property or attached housing of four units or less, and use PSE electricity or natural gas to heat water. The rebate is limited to two showerheads per household.

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Check the mailbox for a toilet leak kit

March 15, 2011

The average home can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year due to running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks. The results: wasted water and pricier water bills.

In order to stop the drips, Cascade Water Alliance plans to send toilet leak detection mailers to more than 100,000 residences in Issaquah and King County for Fix A Leak Week from March 14-20.

The mailers include dye strips and simple instructions to check toilets for leaks. Learn more about toilet-leak fixes and other conservation programs at the alliance website, www.cascadewater.org.

Since 2004, the alliance has offered conservation programs to help reduce water use and save money.

Customers can receive rebates for installing WaterSense toilets and clothes washers, as well as rain shut-off devices for irrigation systems.

The alliance also provides irrigation system audits, efficient showerhead and aerator installations at apartment complexes, and upgrades to dishwashers and other fixtures at restaurants.

The regional alliance includes the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Issaquah and Bellevue, plus other Eastside and South King County cities and water districts. The agency serves about 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses.

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