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Eastown will look to council for a new deal
By Dennis Box
A group of property owners and developers in Bonney Lake's Eastown area are proposing a plan to speed the development of the area.
The plan, known as a local improvement district or LID, would help install a water and sewer system in the area using a cost-sharing plan between the owners and the city.
Ray Frey of Halsan Frey LLC, who represents some of the landowners in Eastown, presented the basic elements of the plan at the Nov. 22 City Council meeting.
The proposal asks the City Council to pass a resolution directing the city to pay about $3.5 million for a water and sewer system in Eastown with a percent” return, according to Frey.
Frey pointed out the area was annexed in 2002 by the city, but remains undeveloped because of the sewer and water.
“An LID is often the only way to get the development in these areas going,” Frey said. “The staff has drawn up a good plan for Eastown and when the LID is laid out it will help development coming in.”
The plan will have to be approved by the city staff first and then by property owners.
An LID means the city pays the initial cost of the sewer and water system - about $3.5 million, according to Frey's estimate - and the property owners pay the city back over about 15 years.
The advantage to property owners would be the first developers in the Eastown area would not have to pay all the infrastructure cost.
“We just need to make sure everyone understands how these (LID plans) work,” Councilman Dan Swatman said. “There are several multiple small owners and we don't want them to all of a sudden be taxed off their property. We need to make sure we have a plan that works in the beginning and in the end.”
Swatman noted the council and staff had to be careful to estimate the cost accurately so $3 million didn't suddenly become $5 million.
Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said he thought the plan was promising.
“I don't see any show stoppers,” Grigsby said. “It seems to be a plan that can be worked out.”
The Eastown area is bordered on the east by 234th Street East and 214th Street East on the west, 96th Street East to the north and, roughly, 106th Street East and Entwhistle to the south (including only those properties in the city limits).
The state Department of Transportation has plans to widen state Route 410 East between 214th and 234th.
Dennis Box can be reached at email@example.com.