CCUD to hold public hearing about controversial building sale

January 29, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 12:30 p.m. Jan. 29, 2015

The Coal Creek Utility District Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing Feb. 11 to hear comments regarding the utility’s controversial deal with the city of Newcastle.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city will pay $250,000 for a CCUD-owned building on 129th Avenue Southeast appraised at about $750,000. In addition, the city will agree not to assume the utility for the next 10 years.

In a hearing notice published in Thursday’s Seattle Times, the utility district says the city will use the building for “essential city operations relating to public works, including vehicle parking and maintenance.”

The public hearing begins at 6 p.m. in the utility’s district office, 6801 132nd Place S.E.

The Newcastle City Council officially authorized City Manager Rob Wyman to go ahead with the controversial purchase at the council’s Jan. 20 regular meeting.

It again came down to a 4-3 vote, with Deputy Mayor John Drescher, Councilman Gordon Bisset and Councilman Rich Crispo dissenting.

Prior to the vote, in a stunning reunion of public servants, four former Newcastle City Council members, including two former mayors, used the public comment period to urge a no vote on the purchase of the building. Council members Sonny Putter, Bill Erxleben, Jean Garber and Claudia Hirschey all spoke.

We will have a full story, including council members’ comments from the meeting, in the Feb. 6 Newcastle News. Our original story on the controversial purchase can be found here.

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