On 12/4/20, we participated in a phone call with Deputy Mayor Nick Harper, Council Member Paul Roberts, and a Forterra representative.  The purpose of this call was to provide an update on the progress the city administration has made toward geotechnical analysis of the Wood Creek property.  This update leaves us cautiously optimistic about the long-term outcome for the forest because we learned that Forterra and city administration have been actively working together on a conservation strategy.

We learned:

  • The city and Forterra have been working on an agreement and detailed scope of work. Deputy Mayor Harper assured us that we would have access to the scope of work documents.
  • The City of Everett has applied for a $10K grant through Snohomish County to help compensate Forterra for their services. The Utility will match the $10K award.
  • The Utility has agreed to cover the costs of the geotechnical assessment and property appraisal. Please recall from our previous newsletter on this topic that these two assessments are aimed at fully understanding the unique nature of the local soil stability given knowledge of previous landslides and groundwater issues in Valley View. It would also determine the actual monetary value of the land as a result.  The previous appraisal related to the proposed surplus decision in April – May had only been based on a simple square-footage calculation of flat land.  This real estate appraisal is not for the purposes of any sale.  It is to allow a better understanding of the amount the Water Utility would need to be compensated when a final conservation plan is decided upon. The Public Works and Real Property departments are currently investigating firms to perform these tasks. The geotechnical analysis is still targeted to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. The costs of these assessments are not yet known.
  • The City of Everett plans to host a  “kick-off” meeting to discuss this evolving process in greater detail as early as mid-January.  More details will follow on the number of participants and who the various stakeholders are.
    Deputy Mayor Harper reiterated his desire to maintain transparency and build trust and rapport with the community. Similar to his last meeting with us, he emphasized that there is 'no rush' and 'time is on our side' because the Utility is not counting on monies gained from the property for any projects, revenue plans, or rate formulas.  He stated unequivocally that the city is committed to a “conservation solution” for Wood Creek and the surrounding forest.  The City is still in the data-gathering stage, which will be followed by working with Forterra to investigate a combination of options to compensate the Utility so the property can then be protected.

    Get Involved!  If you would like to join the efforts of Stewards of Wood Creek Everett, we welcome your participation!  Please email info@savewoodcreek.org