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Black Diamond and Maple Valley to receive grant funding for area water quality projects

Summary

The grant program invests in clean water and the community by providing project funding for organizations dedicated to enhancing waste water treatment.

Story

The cities of Maple Valley, Black Diamond, along with the Lake Sawyer Park Foundation will receive more than $300,000 for three area water quality improvement projects thanks to the efforts of Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. The grant awards come from a King County program designed to improve water quality throughout the region.

“Water is a valuable resource that is often underappreciated in a county that has frequent rainfall and flooding,” said Dunn. “These grant funds will help to improve water quality, which will benefit both public health as well as provide a cleaner, more sustainable watershed for years to come.”

The grant program invests in clean water and the community by providing project funding for organizations dedicated to enhancing waste water treatment. The three projects that will receive funding include an interpretive Trail around Lake Sawyer, improvements to the Maple Valley 216th Ave SE Roadway, and the installation of a storm water treatment system around State Route 169.

The City of Black Diamond will receive a $243,643 grant to help partially fund efforts to treat and remove storm water along State Route 169 next to the City’s north commercial area. Currently storm water discharges directly into Ginder Creek, a major tributary creek to Lake Sawyer and contributor to the lake’s high phosphorus load. If this project is fully funded it will help to provide clearer water and a better environment for fish and other aquatic organisms.

“We appreciate Reagan Dunn’s support and the King County Council consideration for kicking off funding of our highest priority water quality retrofit project in Black Diamond,” said Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson. “This funding will greatly assist us in pulling in the remaining funds for a project that will remove significant loadings of pollutants from State Route 169 and our North Commercial area.”

Black Diamond’s Lake Sawyer Park volunteer organization, the Lake Sawyer Park Foundation, is the recipient of a $12,500 grant. The Park Foundation will create an ‘interpretive trail,’ designed to teach people about the watershed, the importance of clean water, and the impacts of storm water and wastewater on water quality. Lake Sawyer, an important migration corridor for Coho salmon, is located in the middle of the Green/Duwamish River watershed and is the fourth largest natural lake in King County.

“The Lake Sawyer Parks Foundation greatly appreciates this funding from King County, which will provide for benches and interpretive signs that will enhance visitors experience and increase their understanding of the importance of water quality on the wildlife and natural beauty of the park,” said Park Foundation President Leah M. Grant.

In Maple Valley, Cranmar Creek, a tributary to Jenkins Creek, provides critical habitat for Coho salmon smelt. The $45,000 grant awarded to the City of Maple Valley will help fund the installation of series of downstream infiltration systems on the east side of 216th Avenue SE to treat storm water that previously flowed untreated directly into the watershed.

“Once again the partnership between Councilmember Dunn and King County has proven to be beneficial to the City of Maple Valley,” said Maple Valley Mayor Bill Allison. “We can’t thank Councilmember Dunn enough for his hard work.”

When adopted by the County in 1998, the Regional Wastewater Services Plan (RWSP) included a financial policy that specified the allowable use of up to one and one-half percent of the annual Wastewater Treatment Division’s operating budget for the purpose of “water quality improvement activities, programs and projects.” As part of the adopted 2015-2016 Biennial Budget, the Council approved funds for non-sewage treatment related water quality improvement activities, programs and projects.

The funds were available to governments, agencies and programs throughout King County. The projects were selected based on recommendations from the Metropolitan Pollution Abatement Advisory Committee (MWPAAC)—a panel that advises the King County Council and Executive on matters related to water pollution abatement – that projects benefit water quality and ratepayers within the Wastewater Treatment Division’s service area.
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