Sunday, November 11, 2012
From the City of Shoreline
By a vote of 70%, Shoreline voters have authorized the City to create a water utility, and thereby acquire and operate the Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) water system in Shoreline by moving forward with negotiating a final agreement.
Over the next year, the City will be working closely with the City of Seattle to finalize a purchase agreement. We anticipate continuing those discussions in December with the hope of having an agreement ready for review by Shoreline and Seattle city councils by the spring. Both councils will need to approve the agreement before it is finalized. The goal is to complete that process by the fall.
Once the purchase agreement has been signed, Shoreline will begin developing operations plans and preliminary work on the initial capital improvements that need to be completed before the transfer of the system in 2020. Planning work will take place over several years. Beginning in 2016, the City will also begin preparing a Comprehensive Water Plan, as required by the State. The plan will be adopted in 2017. Construction of initial capital improvements and separation of the water system will begin in 2018.
In the meantime, beginning in 2015, the City will work closely with Ronald Wastewater District (RWD) to prepare for merging the wastewater utility with the City in 2017. Planning for and integrating RWD into City operations at the same time we are planning for acquiring the water utility will allow the City to look for mutual operational efficiencies that benefit both utilities. These efficiencies or savings to the utilities could come from sharing the cost of billing services, equipment, facilities and personnel.
The City will continue to keep residents informed throughout the SPU acquisition process. There will be a number of opportunities along the way for residents to provide input. While moving into the water utility businesses is a big step for the City, we are confident that it will be successful and a substantial benefit to the community.