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State to handle Main Street Sewer appeals

The Freeland Water District is in a holding pattern while the legal battle between an existing sewer system provider and the state is resolved.

Main Street Sewer System, which provides service to a senior housing development in Freeland, is appealing the state's approval of the Freeland Water District's move to form a sewer district.

The state Department of Ecology and Department of Health issued "certificates of necessity" in August, which gave the Freeland Water District the legal permission to become a sewer district.

Main Street is appealing that approval, however.

Commissioner Erl Bangston of the Main Street Sewer District has said the existing sewer system could be expanded to serve the Freeland business district. Main Street currently serves The Village at Maple Ridge, a 55-plus development of 41 condominiums.

The state Departments of Ecology and Health are taking the lead in the appeals. The Ecology appeal is scheduled for May 2006; and the Department of Health appeal, which will be heard in Thurston County Superior Court, should take place in the next few months.

Commissioners of the Freeland Water District hope to hire a consulting firm to determine the economic feasibility of implementing the county's comprehensive plan for a sewer system in downtown Freeland. But those plans are on hold while they wait for final decisions in the appeal process.

"The best thing we can do is birddog the state agencies and their attorneys, and help them as much as we can with nominal amount of time and cost," said Erik Davido, consulting engineer for the Freeland Water District.

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