Port Townsend City Council wants no part of county’s proposed clean water district

PORT TOWNSEND – Saying Jefferson County’s clean water district fee proposal is financially flawed, the City Council on Monday night approved telling county commissioners that the city wants to opt out.

The letter was approved 3-1 with Councilwoman Laurie Medlicott opposed. Council members Frank Benskin, Geoff Masci and Michelle Sandoval were absent.

“The one-size-fits-all fee is regressive because the owner of a large tax parcel – say, a 100-acre parcel adjacent to a stream – pays the same $18 per year as a 5,000-square-foot city lot connected to sewers,” states the city’s letter to commissioners signed by Mayor Mark Welch.

“The unfairness is compounded when a significant basis of the ordinance, as set forth in your proposed findings, is to address on-site wastewater treatment (i.e., septic systems) and agricultural runoff as the major contributors to the decline of water quality in the shellfish basins.”

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