PUD Commissioners declare “public works emergency” for Coyle Water System

After consultations with Quilcene Fire Chief Larry Karp and PUD Water Treatment Plant Operator Eric Storey, General Manager Larry Dunbar asked the Jefferson County PUD Board of Commissioners to declare the Coyle water system a “public works emergency.” The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Dunbar’s request with a formal resolution at their regular meeting on June 19th 2018.

Due to the age and condition of the water lines in the system, the PUD has been restricting the Quilcene Fire District to all but one fire hydrant. When General Manager Larry Dunbar was hired in late April of 2018, he was informed of the issue by District 3 Commissioner Wayne King, who represents the Coyle peninsula as well Quilcene, Port Ludlow, and Gardiner. Chief Karp had been in touch with King about a recent fire and the need to have unlimited access to fire hydrants during the weeks before Dunbar’s starting date.

In his request to the commissioners for an emergency declaration, Dunbar stated that “engineering design and repairs need to be undertaken immediately to return the fire hydrants to normal operation to avoid any possible threats to public safety and or private property.”

Per Washington State RCW 39.04.280(1)(e), “public works projects may be exempted from the usual requests for qualifications and bidding process in the event of an emergency which includes unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the District that either: (a) present a real, immediate threat to the proper performance of essential functions; or (b) will likely result in material loss or damage to property, bodily injury, or loss of life if immediate action is not taken.”

The preliminary estimated cost of the repairs is $50,000. Dunbar stated that adequate funding for the emergency repairs is available within the 2018 budget.