To: The Clallam County Commissioners
Cc: The Clallam County taxpayers
As the Chair of the Clallam County Finance Committee, I have scheduled the first 2016 Finance Committee meeting for Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM, to be held in the County Commissioners Board Room.
Because of its potentially significant and permanent impact on the County’s finances (and thus the county taxpayers), the main agenda item will be the Carlsborg Sewer.
During the January 11, 2016 work session, the County’s Public Works Administrative Director (who works directly subordinate to the County Administrator who, in turn, works directly subordinate to you as County Commissioners) projected a $1.2 million shortfall in constructing the Carlsborg Sewer, even with the $10 million State Public Works Board loan and the current $1.4 million balance in the Carlsborg Sewer Fund.
As you know, the thirty–year $10 million Public Works Board loan is a General Fund obligated debt. As such, incurring that debt has the significant potential of negatively impacting the County’s ability to adequately fund its mandatory and essential functions for the next thirty years.
In addition to actual construction, the Public Works Administrative Director outlined an extensive slate of additional issues associated with planning, permitting, operating, and maintaining the Carlsborg Sewer.
For the members of the Finance Committee to be able to adequately “vet” the financial impacts of the Carlsborg Sewer, I request that you, the County Commissioners, direct the County Administrator to prepare the following:
1. A written Cost Report, identifying in detail ALL remaining and future potential costs (with amounts) associated with planning, permitting, constructing, operating, and maintaining the Carlsborg Sewer, including, but not limited to, easements, mitigations, franchises, consultants, construction (including that done by “County forces”), change orders, contingencies, plant operations, plant maintenance, plant repairs, plant expansions, PUD water issues, Sequim’s sewer treatment charges, Sequim capacity costs, sewer user subsidies, billing and administration, and servicing the $10 million debt.
2. A written Funding Report, identifying in detail the exact funding and revenue sources that he recommends be used to pay for each of the costs identified in the Cost Report, including his recommendation for funding the annual payments on the $10 million debt when the Opportunity Fund expires or otherwise has insufficient funds to cover the payments.
I respectfully request that these written Cost and Funding Reports be submitted to me, as Chair of the Finance Committee, by February 29, 2016 at the latest, for distribution to and review by the rest of the Finance Committee, so that all of us may be well prepared to discuss the same on March 10, 2016.
I hereby also respectfully invite Commissioner Peach to attend the March 10, 2016 Finance Committee meeting, to explain his plan for making up the now-projected $1.2 million shortfall, since it was he who, just a few months ago, quite adamantly insisted (to the point of threatening me with criminal consequences) on granting away $1.3 million in Opportunity Fund reserves that had previously been set aside for financing the Carlsborg Sewer.
Selinda Barkhuis, WSBA 24139
Clallam County Treasurer
223 E. 4th Street, Suite 3
Port Angeles, WA 98362