County Awarded Loan to Extend Belfair Sewer

The Washington State Public Works Board has awarded over $85 million in loans for pre-construction and construction activities for 30 projects across the state including $8 Million to extend sewer in Belfair. However, Mason County officials are still discussing whether to accept the loan or a portion of the loan and how specifically the funds would be used.

The County and the City of Bremerton are looking into extending the Belfair sewer to the Puget Sound Industrial Center (PSIC). PSIC is 3,700 acres (designated Manufacturing/Industrial) along Highway 3 northeast of Belfair between approximately Lake Flora Road to Sunnyslop Road and is Bremerton’s Urban Growth Area (UGA). The area was originally called the South Kitsap Industrial Area (SKIA).

Mason County and Bremerton are currently partnering with the design phase of this possible extension. Loretta Swanson, Mason County’s Public Works Director, told MasonWebTV Powered by HCC they are looking at costs, flows, engineering, etc.

“We are just at the point of getting some preliminary information on options, costs and what the project would look like,” Swanson said in a phone interview. That information will then go back to the Commission. “They can then say ‘Alright, this seems like a reasonable thing to do…’ or maybe its reasonable we do some other things.”

According to Swanson, the Commissioners will have to decide whether to accept the full loan or a portion of the loan. The loan is part of an appropriation approved in the last session of the State Legislature.

“The Legislature authorized like $11 Million total for the sewer extension and two million of that came in the form of a grant,” Swanson explained, saying the $8 Million loan is the other portion of that. “Even though the Legislature said $11 million, Commerce can only do $10 million per biennium per project.”

Swanson says she still has several questions relating to the loan and is meeting with Public Works Board officials next week.

Since inception, the Washington State Public Works Board has funded nearly 2,000 projects and provided over $2.8 billion in loans to local governments.