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Water deal to be signed Friday
Sumner City Council conducted a productive meeting Monday night as they adopted an agreement with Cascade Water Alliance, which allows the city to draw water from Cascade Water Alliance if necessary.
Sumner is drilling a well at the former Fleischman's plant and if the well affects water levels, the city has the right, under the agreement, to use Cascade's stored water in the White River to mitigate the water level. The water alliance is a nonprofit corporation and purchased Lake Tapps from Puget Sound Energy for future municipal water supply.
Cascade CEO Chuck Clarke addressed council about the agreement and said it allows city's to operate individually.
"I think at the end we just wanted to have everybody's need for independence," he said.
Clarke and Cascade Water Alliance's intergovernmental and communications director Elaine Kraft visited the Courier-Herald office on Tuesday to discuss the agreement and Clarke stated the four cities involved have independence and are able to make their own decisions regarding their water.
During the council meeting Mayor Dave Enslow said the agreement is a long time coming and he's pleased to see it become official.
"I can't think of a better gift to Sumner than that," he said.
Sumner has been seeking a source of water to accommodate its rising population.
Once Sumner's water rights are approved by the State Department of Ecology the city may draw water from Cascade's reserves in the White River.
Auburn, Bonney Lake and Buckley signed identical agreements with Cascade Water Alliance, but Sumner's agreement does not include any connection to Tacoma water, unlike the others' agreements.
In accordance with the agreement Mayor Enslow joins Mayor Neil Johnson of Bonney Lake, Mayor Pat Johnson of Buckley and Mayor Peter B. Lewis of Auburn in the Lake Tapps Municipal Advisory group, along with Cascade members to discuss the management of Lake Tapps.
The resolution to adopt passed unanimously and applause followed.
The agreement between the cities and Cascade will be signed on Friday, making it official.