News

Council stays home for retreat

By Dennis Box The Courier-Herald

The Bonney Lake City Council has decided to stay home for this year's retreat.

The retreat is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 17 and 9 a.m. to 3:15 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Public Safety Building, 18421 Sumner-Buckley Highway.

In past years the council has traveled out of town for the annual retreat, but Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said this year it worked better to stay home.

“In the past we've needed to do more team building,” Swatman said. “But the council is pretty much of a like mind now. There's no reason to sit in a nice hotel. This (retreat) is easier for everyone to get to.”

City Administrator Don Morrison said the retreat allows members time to “get to the big picture issues. There's not enough time at the workshops and regular meeting.”

Morrison said it is also less expensive to stay in town.

Swatman said the council will discuss ‘big directional issues,” including water and sewer service area and the downtown plan.

Water rates will be a top issue along with providing service to customers outside the city.

“We serve those outside the city to help subsidize people inside the city,” Swatman said. “If we are adding customers and still raising rates we are going in the wrong direction.”

County customers using Bonney Lake water pay about 40 percent higher rates than those inside the city, according to Swatman.

Other top items the council will be discussing are annexation and service issues in the south Plateau region, including Ponderosa Estates and Prairie Ridge.

“Ponderosa wants to be in the city,” Swatman said. “We need to have an overall philosophy for that (area).”

Morrison said the budget and long-range goals will be on the agenda.

Redistricting of the city's five wards will likely make a showing at the meetings.

Swatman said it is possible the city could drop to three wards.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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