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On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, the North Bend City Council unanimously approved the City’s 5-year Water System Plan (WSP).
The in-depth plan – which was developed over the past 1.5 years with input from multiple county and state regulatory agencies and stakeholders - outlines the City’s existing facilities, procedures and policies, along with potential future actions, that ensure the City meets its legal obligations to safely deliver water to current and future customers.
The Water System Plan is consistent with King County’s growth management requirements and other state law for the protection of the environment and North Bend residents. During the past year, the plan underwent numerous public hearings at the county and city level which helped develop the final draft approved by Council.
The WSP also has the approval of the Department of Ecology, the King County Utilities Technical Review Committee, the King County Council, and preliminary approval from the Washington State Dept. of Health (DOH). Final DOH approval is expected in the coming weeks.
The February 2nd City Council meeting was preceded by a Water System Plan Town Hall Meeting. Both meetings were well attended by citizens who expressed concerns with aspects of the WSP.
Following a lengthy public comment period on the WSP, City Councilmembers spent an extensive amount of time, carefully going line-by-line with numerous questions and concerns they had, as well as those expressed by citizens at Town Hall and Council meetings, in email, on social media and in other public forums.
The Council’s methodical approach of directly and thoughtfully questioning City staff ensured the City’s response was clear and accurate so that Councilmembers could make informed decisions based on facts and expert recommendations and testimony.
“While I’m not speaking for the entire council, I feel our approach was critical and beneficial to all citizens as it allowed them to hear that their own words and their voiced concerns were being sufficiently addressed in the most precise, public manner,” said Councilmember Brenden Elwood. “Because this in-depth examination into the water issue and plan is now on the public record, I feel the City Council demonstrated its commitment to transparency and accountability. Furthermore, our direct questions and factual responses provided by staff also demonstrates the City’s desire and commitment to be fully transparent.”
Listen to extensive Public Comment and ensuing City Council discussion on the Water System Plan HERE. (Timestamp 53:40 of meeting audio.) Video of the virtual February 2nd City Council meeting should be available in the City website’s Media Center by February 6th. The WSP Town Hall meeting recording is currently available in the Media Center.