The 2024-29 Capital Improvement Plan was a hot topic at the July 10 Eatonville Town Council meeting. The planning document outlines projects, some of which will be implemented next year, and will continue to refine the projects over the next five years.
“It’s more projects than we can probably get done,” said Seth Boettcher, Eatonville town administrator.
Boettcher said that the projects — 42 in total — are largely dependent on the town receiving grants, which he said the town has had previous success in.
“If a project is listed with grants, then if we don’t get the grants then obviously we’re not going to be able to move forward with the project,” Boettcher said.
Types of projects are separated by category, and include street projects; water projects; electric; stormwater; parks; solid waste; sewer; facilities; and airport. The Street West Eatonville Sidewalk Improvements project, known as S5, is categorized as a level four priority, meaning that it needs to be rehabilitated prior to any additional deterioration. If the rehabilitation does not take place now, it will soon become a greater issue, according to the 2024-29 Capital Improvement Plan document.
The goal of S5 is to address sidewalk deficiencies that are nonconforming with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), within one mile of Eatonville High School and within one mile of the downtown area.
“S5 only goes up to Emeral Ridge, but what we’re trying to do is extend and eliminate the ADA barriers up to the mile from the school,” Boettcher said. “We’ve had some people that are trying to use their carts down Emeral Ridge, so we have some issues. This is not a replacement of the sidewalk, but fixing those handicap ramps to try to extend those out to Emeral Ridge.”
To make these improvements, the town is requesting a total of $260,000 from 2024 to 2029. The town is requesting $13,000 from the REET 1 fund. In January of this year, Washington state real estate property sales became subjected to a graduated real estate excise tax (REET) rate. The remaining $247,000 is being requested from the TIB, or Transportation Improvement Board.
Another major initiative includes conducting a deep aquifer study to locate an alternative and new water supply source. The town is seeking to conduct a study of the deep aquifer, which is an underground rock layer containing water that can be pumped or flowed from the ground.
The project document states that the town needs to begin design and permitting to expand its water supply in order to meet the needs of the future. In the past, the town has experienced difficulty with maintaining the Mashell River supply that comes directly from the river, and the Mashell River intake system exceeds 30 years of age.
“Additionally, the long-term goal of the Town and Nisqually tribe is to transfer the water rights to a deep aquifer for a more reliable water source and to guard the instream flows of the Mashell for salmon,” stated the document.
The study portion of this project, estimated to cost $80,000, will involve geo-hydrology research and recommendations on test sites. Eatonville hopes to collaborate with resource agencies and the Nisqually Tribe to gain approvable for long-term water supply solutions.