The east parking lot for Port Angeles City Hall and the Vern Burton Community Center, shown Friday, is slated to be repaved with a permeable surface to protect nearby Peabody Creek from stormwater pollution. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The east parking lot for Port Angeles City Hall and the Vern Burton Community Center, shown Friday, is slated to be repaved with a permeable surface to protect nearby Peabody Creek from stormwater pollution. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Repaving expected to cut Peabody Creek pollution

State grant funds to be matched

PORT ANGELES — The city of Port Angeles has received a grant to repave the parking lot east of City Hall with a more permeable surface to help reduce stormwater pollution in nearby Peabody Creek.

The City Council voted unanimously last Tuesday to award a $110,677 professional services agreement to Herrera Inc. of Bellingham to design the low-impact development parking lot retrofit.

The city received a $102,000 grant from the state Department of Ecology to design the retrofit, Public Works and Utilities Director Thomas Hunter said.

Stormwater utility capital reserves will be used to cover the $8,677 match.

“For us to be able to receive this grant, we are obligating ourselves to do low-impact development that really goes almost a little bit above and beyond what we require from local developers,” Hunter told the council in a virtual meeting Tuesday.

“I think it’s a great demonstration from the city that we are prioritizing things such as Peabody Creek and our impact from runoff to Peabody Creek.”

The city will apply for a construction grant to rebuild the parking lot after the design is complete in 2021, Hunter said.

“Any step we can take to help improve water quality in Peabody Creek, I’m all for that,” Council member Charlie McCaughan said at the meeting.

Peabody Creek is on Ecology’s impaired freshwater body list for temperature, bacteria, bioassessment and turbidity, Hunter said.

Stormwater runoff from the east parking lot at City Hall is now collected, conveyed and discharged directly into the stream, Hunter said in a council memo.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the city to lessen their impact,” Council member LaTrisha Suggs said at the meeting.

“It can be considered point source pollution, or sometimes non-point source pollution, but I think it’s great that we’re addressing this type of pollution that does enter streams, which is very impactful in a negative way to fish-bearing streams.”

Lower Peabody Creek runs through a 1,007-foot-long culvert that was built in 1914. City officials have said the culvert needs about $3 million in repairs.

“This is just a small step for Peabody Creek,” Suggs said.

“Peabody Creek does have some other issues that, in the future, will need to be addressed.

“But this is a step in the right direction,” Suggs added.

“I’m excited about this contract for preliminary design and planning to address this issue.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

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