Sewer & Water District
P.O. Bow 463
Weleome back to all our winter returning snowbirds. We hope everyone
had a healthy winter and is ready to enjoy another Sacheen summer, if summer ever comes. It has been a long winter with over 10 feet of snow here!
Thanks go out to everyone who voted last fall for our maintenance and operation levy
to continue the work being done within the District. The Board has been meeting twice a month working on issues here at Sacheen.
As we are a Sewer and Water District, we would like 10 bring everyone up
to speed on the activities that have been going on toward sewering at Sacheen Lake. We realize that many of your know this
history, but for those who have not been here as long, this may be helpful.
Back in 1994-1995
the District Board worked together with a group ofSenio!
Engineering students from Gonzaga University to develop a Preliminary Engineering Report for constructing a sewer and water
system around Sacheen Lake. Eric Eldenburg of Sewell Engineering acted as a professional liaison to the students. The project
was quite comprehensive and thorough. When this report
was completed, the information was presented at our general summer lake meeting in 1995, and then also in smaller area or
neighborhood meetings. After a summer of meetings and question and answer periods, a survey, or straw pon was sent out to
all property mvners to determine if there was enough interest to begin a process of constructing a system. At that time it
was deteiminedthat there was not enough support to continue. It was suggested that if there was enough intere-st
in any certain area that those property owners get together and consider developing a cluster system.
In the fall of 2003, such a group of property owners got together and came to the Board
to request that the District develop a cluster sewer system to serve the Terrace area. To show their commitment, forty-three
property owners gave $100 to assist in funding the steps that could possibly lea4 to a system for them. After many letters
and meetings on this possible project and the consideration of forming a Local Improvement District, (LID), the Sewer District
with the help of our District Attorney Mike Ormsby formed the Terrace Local Improvement District. With the formation of an
LID the District could apply for loan money to begin the process. At this point we applied for a preconstruction loan from
the Public Works Trust Fund to develop a Facility Pian for the Terrace and to
Purchase a 10 acre parcel of property across Highway 211· from the Terrace to serve
as the drainfield.
But the Board realized that without a Comprehensive Sewer Plan for the District, we
were prohibited by law from purchasing any property, so as part of the contract with
Sewell Engineering for the Facility Plan, the Board also requested the development of a Comprehensive Plan for the whole District.
A Comprehensive Plan would be needed for any duster or system that would be developed by the District. A Comprehensive Plan
is designed to look at long term development and is considered a twenty-year-plan. The cost for this additional work would
be come from the District's Capital Project Account.
As work began on the Comprehensive/Facility Plan, the Board ",,"as visited by representatives
from other areas of the Lake requesting that their areas be considered for the next cluster projects. Property owners from
Kohles Beach on one end of Fertile Valley, as well as from the west end of the Lake came to the Board looking for help. With
support that came out at last summer's general meeting the board sent letters of interest to property owners
in the East Shore area and the response indicated that many of them showed a defInite interest in being served by some sort
During this time it was determined that, due to covenant restrictions, the 10 acre
parcel that we"were considering buying would not be suitable for a drainfield to serve the Terrace so we began looking for
property again. As many of you know, this area does not have the best conditions for drainage and septic purposes. Many trips
to the Assessors office, calls to local realtors, and calls and letters to nearby landowners were made.
Last summer, a 40 acre parcel of land was found south of the Lake on Highway 211 that
looked promising. Even though we still did not have a Comprehensive Plan, and therefore could not purchase the property, the
Board decided to proceed with test holes and a Hydrogeology Report. By doing this, it would help determine if this property
could be used and what type of treatment system would be appropriate for t.lIis site.
These pieces of information would also allow the engineers to determine how many homes this larger parcel of property could
possibly serve. While awaiting the completion of the Comprehensive Plan, the property has changed hands. The new property
owners are interested in selling the property to the District, as wen as an additional 20 acres that are adjacent and to the north thaf could possibly make this entire parcel of land (60 acres) suitable for providing treatment
for a whole lake system.
At the beginning of April, the Comprehensive Plan was submitted to the Department
of Ecology for Agency approval. They have sixty days to review the plan and return it to the District. Once the Pla.'1 is approved weare poised to proceed. So what is our next step? What began as a cluster drainfIeld for the
Terrace area has become the possibility of a whole lake sewer system. Questions to be posed to District property owners are
many. Should the District stick with a project that only serves the Terrace? Should the Terrace LID be expanded to include
East Shore and Kohles Beach? Is it time to consider a whole lake sewer system? Should it be done in phases or all at once?
Should the property be purchased for the possibility of serving the whole District at a later date? The Board is at the juncture
to make a decision for the future of Sacheen Lake. Is it time to
go forward with a sewer system to serve all of the lake? The answers to these questions
are not easy. The Board takes its responsibility to the District property owners very seriously and would like your input.
As we consider the possible options, the costs change accordingly. It has been suggested
that in order to exhaust any possibility of getting grant funding for possible projects that we conduct an income survey for
the District. Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is a non-profit corporation funded with federal tax monies to
assist small communities in fmding funding for projects. We realize that the District has already done two income surveys
for the Terrace, but this non-profit corporation has a very good record of getting rural communities to qualify for assistance
and hope that all residents will complete the survey. The last time the Terrace information was tabulated, they missed the threshold by only a few hundred dollars. These income surveys would be developed by RCAC and sent out by the District.
They would be returned to, and tabulated by RCAC under strict confidence. When you receive a survey form, please complete
it and return as directed. With so few grants being available these days, this may be the only way we can qualify for grant
In order for everyone to have the opportunity to ask questions of the Board, Engineers,
and Attorney, we will have many informational meetings. The first meeting is ulanned
for Saturday. Mav 24 at 10:00 am at the
Sacheen Fire Station. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. There will be a lot of information disseminated and the best way to become informed is for everyone to attend.
Your input is very important to the Board. If you disagree with the direction the Board is taking, let them know. In the mean
time, you are encouraged to attend the Board's regular meetings held at the Sacheen Fire Station at 7:00 pm on the first Thursday
of the month and 4:00 pm on the tpJrd Thu.rsday of the month, We hope to see you at one of the upcoming meetings.
Sacheen Lake Sewer & Water Board Board Members