Council considers options for downtown waste

City staff will recommend lift station be built in park as opposed to Skansie Brothers House

Staff writerJune 18, 2014 

The Public Works department doesn’t want to waste time upgrading Lift Station 4A.

There are two possible locations and city staff is reverting to a former option for the lift station, even though it will cause a view corridor blockage of the harbor. It’s the alternative to positioning the station in the basement of the Skansie Brothers House.

City administrator Ron Williams said that the council will hear about the option that does not place any equipment in the historic house.

The station moves wastewater to the main treatment plant for more than a third of the city. It handles waste from Point Fosdick, Olympic Village, Soundview Drive and most of downtown. It is also in dire need of repair, said Jeff Langhelm, director of public works.

A memorandum sent to the city council on June 5 outlines the need for a new station in the downtown area.

The station was also damaged by an electrical fire in 2010.

“Our public works, our operations crew, does a good job of holding (the station) together,” Langhelm said. “(But) something could break and the lift station could overflow into the harbor.”

A movement to put the lift station in the basement of the Skansie Brothers House was met with resistance from citizens. Although it would not cause any view blockage, it would likely impact the historic structure.

No matter the location, it needs to go somewhere, Williams said.

“It’s a major lift station. It’s getting old and it needs fixing,” he said.

At the last council meeting, city staff and council members had a half-hour study session together. Langhelm briefed the council on the lift station.

The council next meets at 5:30 p.m. June 23 at the Civic Center.

Karen Miller: 253-358-4155

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