May 4, 2010
11:00 – 11:55 a.m.
Council Present: Mary Dean, Andy Ryder
Staff Present: Greg Cuoio, Scott Egger, Rick Walk, Ken Ahlf, Peter Brooks, Erin Keith, Scott Spence, Carol Litten
Water Consumer Confidence Report
Erin Keith, Water Resources Analyst, presented the Annual 2010 Water Quality Report, which is required by the Environmental Protection Agency to notify customers of the results of the City’s water testing. To ensure customers receive the highest quality drinking water possible, the Lacey Water Utility conducts a comprehensive analysis of the community’s water supply each year and reports a summary of the test results.
Erin stated the report, which is delivered to 33,000 residents, has been revised to include public education information on water conservation, odd-even watering schedule, sources of drinking water, tips for healthy lawns, stormwater management, backflow information, water use efficiency numbers, and a coupon section for participation in the water conservation program.
Erin stated the Department of Health and industry standard goal for water leakage is less than 10%. The City’s leakage was 9.2% in 2009, 5% lower than last year. She noted the City’s Leak Detection Program is ongoing. The City’s automated meter reading eliminates water theft during construction, and source meters are calibrated to ensure there are no leaks.
Scott Egger, Public Works Director, remarked the City has converted to automatic meter readers which allow the City to notify residents if their bills spike, usually due to leaks. The AMR retrofit is a huge benefit to the City and its residents.
Greg Cuoio, City Manager, stated the City invests $900,000 annually toward water system repair and replacement. Councilmember Mary Dean asked at what point will the City be able to focus on prevention instead of reaction. Scott responded that as the City’s system ages, new areas of concern will continue to develop, so the program will be ongoing.
Councilmember Andy Ryder suggested a section be added for people who wash their vehicles, offering coupons for free green car washes. He said his business participates in the Lakewood area program and it has been successful.
Andy inquired about requiring permits for charity car washes. Erin stated that charity groups can contact Stream Team to receive a permit and a list of locations to hold environmentally friendly car washes.
Councilmember Mary Dean thanked staff for an outstanding job on the report. She added that a suggestion for next year’s report would be to include information about what kind of watering uses are allowed during the Odd/Even watering schedule.
Amendment of Wholesales Water Agreements
Peter Brooks, Water Resources Manager, stated the City of Lacey has had a Wholesale Water Agreement with the City of Olympia since 1987. The agreement was revised in 2007. The City of Olympia has a fifty year water supply, and the City of Lacey pays $250,000 a year for Olympia water use.
The City of Lacey is requesting an additional extension of the current agreement, primarily because the City has not secured new water rights and is required to identify an adequate source of supply in its proposed 2010-2016 Water System Plan to the Washington State Department of Health.
An extension of the agreement would ensure that the City of Lacey meets its water demands within its retail service area through the next Water System Plan cycle of 2010 through 2016. The Olympia City Council will consider the agreement at their May 11, 2010 meeting. The agreement will not impact the City of Olympia’s ability to meet its own water demands. Extending the agreement maintains a collaborative interjurisdictional relationship with the City of Olympia that will benefit other efforts including the McAllister Wellfield and the Brewery Water Supply.
Option agreement with Ron Smith for purchase and sale agreement
Ken Ahlf, City Attorney, briefed the Council regarding the City of Lacey entering into an option agreement with Ron Smith to purchase water rights and land.
The City of Lacey has been working cooperatively with the Cities of Yelm and Olympia to acquire water rights and land that can be used to mitigate predicted impacts to the Deschutes River basin of requested future water rights. The Smith property is an active agricultural property with over one mile of Deschutes river frontage, and is located in south Thurston County. The outlet of Lake Lawrence flows across the property, collecting the discharge from springs on the property before joining the Deschutes River. The cities hold two separate options to jointly purchase up to 170 acre feet of water rights and approximately 197 acres of land. The water right is for summertime irrigation water and will provide partial mitigation for future modeled impacts of new water withdrawals.
Ken noted the land was a wetland before it was farmed. Restoring the land to a wetland will serve as out-of-kind mitigation for modeled winter impacts of future water withdrawals. The option to purchase agreement would cost the cities a total of $25,000. If the option is exercised, the purchase price for the land and water will be over $1,000,000. The costs, water rights and land would be divided equally among the three cities. Ken stated that the City chose to purchase an option to ensure that DOE agrees that this mitigation is viable and will move Lacey forward in obtaining water rights.
Scott Egger, Public Works Director, noted the Squaxin Tribe seems to be pleased with the agreement, because it will mitigate the agricultural impact on the stream. It is anticipated that this water and land acquisition will move the City of Lacey closer to receiving water rights from the six applications pending before the Department of Ecology.
Greg Cuoio, City Manager, noted this is the most significant advance in the City’s water right process, and he congratulated Ken Ahlf and Water Resources staff in their efforts to successfully negotiate an agreement.
Minutes approved on May 27, 2010.