Tonasket receives $1.2 million to construct Bonaparte Creek sewer project

TONASKET – Tonasket has received a forgivable principal loan of more than $1.2 million from the state to construct the Bonaparte Creek Area Sanitary Sewer Project.

“We got up to $1,206,000 forgivable principal loan from the state Department of Ecology from their Water Quality Funding revolving loan to construct the Bonaparte Creek Area Sanitary Sewer Project,” said Alice Attwood at the Tonasket City Council’s Tuesday, June 12 meeting. “We also got $50,000 in revolving funds for 20 years at 2.6 percent interest.”

The project concerns areas near Bonaparte Creek located in the east part of Seventh St. near the creek called Mill Drive. The purpose of the new sewer, which will connect with the city’s sewer system and water treatment facility, is an effort to help clean up the water in Bonaparte Creek which has had problems believed to have been partially caused by nearby septic systems. At a public meeting held on Jan. 4, 2011 the sewer portion of the project was estimated to cost approximately $1.3 million.

Attwood explained that the $1.2 million “forgivable principal loan” means that the city does not have to pay those funds back.

“I’m so pleased,” said Councilwoman Julianna Griffin, upon hearing the news of the loan’s approval.

“Does this start the annexation process?” asked Councilman Scott Olson.

Olson was told that this would start the annexation of those areas in of the project that are currently outside the city.

“I would personally like to thank the council for pushing on this,” said Jerry Anderson, who was in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting when the announcement was made.

“There has been a lot of hard work from the previous administration and Julianna (Councilwoman Griffin) and Jean E. (Councilwoman Ramsey) and Jill (Councilwoman Vugtaveen), as well as former council members Joyce Fancher and Connie Maden, and of course Alice and Bill (Pilkinton, Superintendent of Public Works),” said Mayor Patrick Plumb.

Attwood added that the city’s engineers, Varela and Associates, were continuing to work with Rural Development for the water portion of the project.

The council also discussed joining the Okanogan Conservation District at Tuesday’s meeting.

“We’ve gotten a lot of work from that organization without being members,” said Plumb, who recommended the city join the organization.

He added, “They can help us with shorelines to get people to comply in a non-regulatory way because they already have a special relationship with private land owners that we don’t have and they can provide engineering at no cost.”

Councilman Olson said his only concern about the $2.40 per parcel charge. It was explained that it was $2.40 for the first parcel, with four cents added for each additional parcel owned by the same property owner.

“We do have a lot of shoreline,” said Olson.

The council voted to approve joining the Okanogan County Conservation District.