Council approves money extending contract for gap analysis

The Port Orchard City Council unanimously approved a change order for an additional $8,700 needed for the continuation of the 2014 Water/Sewer Gap Analysis.

The Port Orchard City Council unanimously approved a change order for an additional $8,700 needed for the continuation of the 2014 Water/Sewer Gap Analysis by Katy Isaksen and Associates, Inc., during the Jan. 27 meeting.

With the change order, the contract by Katy Isaksen and Associates will be extended to May 1.

Public Works Director Mark Dorsey said during the December works study session, Katy Isaksen and Associates, presented the gap analysis and the council requested that it continue discussion into the future.

Councilman Rob Putaansuu said the council wanted some additional information, analysis by categories and to examine the bill structure.

“We wanted more than what was presented to us,” Putaansuu said. “We’re asking for more, so we need to pay for the additional work.”

During public comments, resident Nick Whittleton asked the council to cancel the contract with Katy Isaksen and Associates, Inc., regarding the gap analysis.

“This is due to what should be a lack of confidence in the product being developed,” Whittleton read from a statement he later gave to City Clerk Brandy Rinearson.

In the statement, Whittle claimed the water gap analysis listed $3.7 million of work that was listed on the 2011 water capital improvement list that was funded by an increase between $14 and $20 bi-monthly over the last four years.

“By the way, this was almost a doubling of the rates from 2011,” he read from the statement. “All in all, this is not acceptable engineering and questions the creditability of the entire analysis.”

Whittleton said the city is looking at a “fragile infrastructure” that needs work and maintenance.

“We need to look at the real gaps in the system and not fund a shopping list,” he said.

Dorsey said he took exception to the comments. He noted that Katy Isaksen and Associates is the most recognized financial utility analysts in the state and that she serves on the state’s Public Works Board.

“We internally did our previous rate study — and as I tried to explain to Mr. Whittleton, previously — that was an internal review of our operations and capital on a plan that has not been financial constrained,” Dorsey said. “The work program supersedes what was done before and we’re taking a fresh look at our entire operations in a much detailed look.”

He said after a meeting with the Utilities Committee, some adjustments were made to the capital projects and to correctly allocate growth rates, future funding and the Well 10 project.

Dorsey said the council requested some additional and that the additional effort will provide answers so a decision can be made.

Putaansuu said in 2011, the city had an operation deficiency and funded a six-year capital plan.

“We have started to move forward on Well 10 and the water rate is not moving up a lot in the short run because we have addressed a lot of the capital’s need in the water rate adjustment,” he said.

Councilman Fred Chang said he was “intrigued” by some of the comments from the public, but feels it directed at the results of the competed gap analysis. He said that the gap analysis is incomplete and the council need the information to make the decision about the rates.

Councilwoman Bek Ashby said she supports the additional money and that the water rates needs to be reevaluated and restructured.