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Poulsbo imposes wastewater fee for septic users near sewer systems

POULSBO – Ray Diehl has been diligently paying his $31.45 a month to keep his septic system for three years.

It would cost him close to $20,000 to get rid of his septic system and hook up to the city’s wastewater.

“I know that you think that the penalty charge is an incentive for me to hook up,” Diehl said at Wednesday night’s Poulsbo city council meeting, “but I can’t hook up because I’d have to tear up the street.”

Diehl does not want to hook up to the city’s wastewater system.

“I would like to see the council do away with the fee. I’m not asking to go back three years and get my money back,” Diehl said.

The city council decided during the meeting to assess a $31.45 wastewater service fee to all residents within the Poulsbo city limits who have a city sewer system within 200 feet of their homes but do not use it.

However, if the resident has a current septic system inspection, which is required by the state Department of Health, the fee will be waived.

“We’re not requiring (residents) to do the inspection, we’re requiring them to pay the penalty fee,” Councilman Dale Rudolph said. “We already do this for irrigation systems.”

The city has a record of current residents who have and have not been paying the $31.45 a month, public works director Barry Loveless said. There will be no retribution for the residents who have not been paying this fee.

Councilman Jeff McGinty was the only council member opposed to the fee.

“I don’t believe we belong in the septic tank business,” McGinty said.

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