Eastown plan gets a boost

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

A major change in the commercial development picture is on the horizon for Bonney Lake's Eastown neighborhood.

Mayor Neil Johnson announced during the Aug. 8 City Council meeting that a commercial developer has agreed to build the basic structure of the sewer system for Eastown, the area along state Route 410 between 214th and 234th.

“A private developer will build a lift station and forced main,” Johnson said. “Then other developers from properties in the Eastown would run their sewer lines to the lift station.”

The plan is known as a late-comers' agreement. Once the private developer builds the lift station, builders who come in later pay the developer a fee to hook up to the sewer line.

In May, the city began setting up a utility local investment district (ULID) to build a sewer and water system to serve the area. A ULID is a process where the city funds a utility, usually through bonds, and is paid back by property owners.

Ray Frey of Halsan Frey LLC, a Bellevue property development and consulting company, said “this (late-comers' plan) is good news for Eastown. Everyone knows a ULID can take a long time and cost a lot of money. This way sewer will be available to Eastown in a considerably shorter time. And the city can issue sewer availability letters sooner than under a ULID.”

The lift station will be built at the lowest point in Eastown, which is an area on Don French's property at 22405 state Route 410. All other properties in Eastown flow down to the proposed lift station, which means gravity lines can be built to the site.

From the lift station, effluent will be pumped via a forced main to the city's sewer connection at 214th Avenue East.

“This is really best for everyone,” Deputy Mayor Dan Swatman said. “Whenever the government is involved it can get horribly expensive.”

Johnson said the ULID would likely continue to move forward through the initial phase, but stop at the point where city funds would be spent. If the private developer's plan for a lift station falls through, the city could complete the ULID.

“The main goal is for Eastown to be developed the way we are envisioning it,” Johnson said. “The whole point of an Eastown plan is getting it done.”

About three parcels will still need water service, according to Johnson. The mayor said the city will need to develop a plan to provide water to the properties.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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