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Public Works shuts off KPUD water deal
POULSBO Water rights is an issue that Poulsbo is going to need to keep up with as population numbers grow.
But theyre not enough of an emergency to warrant buying water from the Kitsap Public Utilities District.
That is the message coming from city staff over a proposed partnership with the KPUD. The idea was first floated to Poulsbo in May for the city to financially take part in the KPUD expanding its facilities. City representatives have since had several meetings with the KPUD trying to hash out numbers.
At the Sept. 22 finance/administration committee meeting, Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln reported that his recommendation is for Poulsbo to pass up the deal at this time.
When the KPUD first approached Poulsbo, it was being batted around that there was a potential that the city may run out of available water in the very near future. In a July 2003 memorandum, consulting firm Parametrix estimated that with a 3-5 percent annual growth, Poulsbo could need additional water capacity as early as 2005.
I think the point we were on is whether or not we were going to need water, Finance Director Nanci Lien explained of Poulsbo entertaining the KPUDs offer. The KPUD had tossed out the idea that the city may not believe it but someday, we will need more water.
Department heads Bill Duffy and John Stephenson retired after early negotiations with the KPUD. Project Engineer Andrzej Kasiniak stepped up to help out and Public Works Director Jeff Lincoln got involved after he was hired in August. Thats when the tune changed.
Lincoln said he appreciated the KPUDs offer, but just didnt feel it was the best decision for Poulsbo at this time.
The numbers are what they are, he said. I dont think anyone was trying to disadvantage the city but its just doesnt seem, particularly at this time, that we should do this.
As the numbers started to unfold, it felt like thats really good into the future but I dont know if right away we can do it, Lien added. After retooling some of the citys rights, we discovered that some of them were not using and can be developed further.
The KPUD proposed two scenarios under which Poulsbo could purchase an additional 300 gallons per minute (GPM) capacity. The first would cost Poulsbo $3,369.51 per month, or 46 cents per 100 cubic feet. The second was $6,467 per month, or 29 cents per 100 cu-ft. While the costs seemed minor, Lincoln said he discovered that Poulsbos Westside Well had yet to be put to use. That well, which was developed over the last two years, could add 500 GPM at a total cost of $3,369 per month, or 20 cents per 100 cu-ft.
The costs for both KPUD plans also dont include fees that would be charged for running the water through Silverdale.
Poulsbos water supply numbers assume financing the $500,000 Westside Well connection cost over a 20 year period at 5.25 percent rate. Lien explained that before taking out a loan, Poulsbo may be able fund a portion through capital reserves and through an interfund loan.
Our goal would be to try and finance it in house, she said.
And as for immediate water needs for Poulsbo, Lincoln said the city is in good shape for anywhere from seven to 20 years. He said his best guess as to where the water crisis idea came from was from what he calls extremely aggressive population growth numbers.
The current Growth Management Act projects Poulsbos population doubling between now and 2025, which is a 3.2 percent change each year. Using that guideline, the citys 1998 and current 2000 Capital Water Systems Plan estimated the population for 2003 as 9,743.
It is believed Poulsbos water production can serve a population of about 10,251. Using the capital plans numbers, Poulsbo could be in a water crisis. But in actuality, there are about 7,000 residents of Poulsbo in 2004.
If you plan for numbers that arent reality, you could get committed to very large capital projects you dont need, Lincoln said.
While the GMA shows population growing at a rate of 3.2 percent and planning documents show 3-5 percent increases, Lincoln said Poulsbos growth has actually hovered closer to about 2 percent the last 15 years. If population grows by only 2 percent, Poulsbo wouldnt reach the 10,251 breaking point until 2022. Three percent growth puts water running out nearly 2016 and even the 3.2 percent growth of the GMA gives the city until around 2015 to come up with a new solution.
And Ive come to the conclusion that we can build dang near anything in three years, Lincoln commented.
While Poulsbo has determined it doesnt need to buy water from the KPUD at this point, Lincoln explained that water is still a topic that will be in the forefront of Public Works planning. Several measures are planned to add to Poulsbos current capacity. Lincoln also believes the city should work with the KPUD and Kitsap County on water right solutions with a more regional outlook.
We believe if we get more water rights, we can go to 2025 but the idea is not just get to the next 20 years and were fine, Lincoln said. Growth will continue beyond 2025.
Comparison of Water solutions:
PUD Option #1, Guaranteed minimums
Gain 300 GPM
Capital costs $3,369.51/month
Unit cost 46 cents/100 cubic feet
PUD Option #2, Fixed Costs, no minimums
Gain 300 GPM
Capital costs $6,467/month
Unit cost 29 cents/100 cubic feet
Poulsbo water production, current costs
Gain 500 GPM (addition of West Side Well)
Capital costs $3,369/month ($500,000 financed at 5.25 percent over 20 years)
Unit cost 20 cents/100 cubic feet