Manchester Sewer District Draws Fire … Even from County Assessor

I just submitted my story on the proposed Utility Local Improvement District 9 along Colchester Drive in Manchester. While some who testified at Monday’s public hearing before the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners said sewer was needed in the area, the overwhelming majority who spoke – including Kitsap County Assessor Jim Avery – raised concerns about how the boundaries were drawn, how the petition was certified and how the costs were analyzed.

The board, in consideration of multiple apparent discrepancies, has agreed to delay its vote on finalizing the district and to keep the public hearing open until its July 14 meeting. I’ll post a link once the story goes on the Web site. In the meantime, here are a couple of quotes I didn’t have room to include.

“There seems to be a great deal of confusion over how they handled the voting. It seems like it was all pretty loosey goosey to me.” Jim Avery, in a conversation I had with him this afternoon.

“I lose sleep over this. It just makes me sick to my stomach. I may have to sell my house.” Nancy English, who is on a limited income and estimates her cost to hook up to the sewer at $28,000.

On the flip side, resident Bart Lovely, who is a contractor, said although the cost is “a hardship for most of us,” it’s only going to get worse. Now is the time to commit to sewers, he said. Lovely said the soils in the area are clay and not conducive to septic systems. Some who testified seemed to suggest Lovely had a vested interest in promoting the sewer. He served on the sewer committee of the Manchester Community Council that forwarded the petition, but he is not building any homes in district 9 (nor in the already formed district 8).

This is the third story I’ve done within the past week on waste management, including the apparently resolved Bremerton-Port orchard SKIA squabble and West Sound Utility District’s methane initiative. My working title for the latter story was, “Port Orchard Has Gas and Knows How to Use It” but they don’t pay me to write the headlines … for obvious reasons.

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