About The Alliance
Julie Olson, Clark County
Norm Harker, Clark Regional Wastewater District
Ron Onslow, City of Ridgefield
Steven Phelps, City of Battle Ground
For more information, please contact the appropriate partner representative listed below:
Service Area Map
History and Context
The Discovery Clean Water Alliance (Alliance), legally formed on January 4, 2013, represents the culmination of several years of evaluation to determine the optimum long-term framework for delivery of regional wastewater transmission and treatment services to the urban growth areas in the central portion of Clark County, Washington. The Alliance serves four Member agencies – the City of Battle Ground, Clark County, Clark Regional Wastewater District and the City of Ridgefield. The Members will jointly own and jointly manage regional wastewater assets under Alliance ownership through an interlocal framework established under the Joint Municipal Utility Services Act (RCW 39.106).
A summary of the timeline and process that led to the creation of the Alliance is provided below.
- Sewer Summit. In September 2007, Clark County adopted an updated 20-Year Comprehensive Growth Management Plan, addressing the future needs of the community. This planning process identified the growth potential and related infrastructure needs of several of the urban growth areas within Clark County. As a result, wastewater service providers in Clark County began to discuss the concept of regionalizing wastewater services to support a healthy environment and to provide infrastructure needed to realize the area’s economic development potential. These discussions culminated in a “Sewer Summit” on December 6, 2007 where the idea of studying various regional services delivery models was first endorsed by a broad coalition of local agencies.
- Sewer Coalition Planning Study. The Sewer Summit discussions resulted in the Sewer Coalition Planning Study, started in 2008 and published in November 2009, with twelve local agencies. This study considered a 50-year vision for growth and infrastructure needs in a county-wide context. The study resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to Develop the Structure for a Regional Wastewater Entity. Four of the twelve agencies (today, the Members of the Alliance) agreed in the MOU to move forward to form a new regional partnership. The remaining eight coordinating agencies would continue to coordinate with, and stay informed on, the process. A legislative proviso sponsored by State Senator Joseph Zarelli was utilized to provide for this and the subsequent planning and study work.
- Regional Business Planning. In 2010 and 2011, the four agencies conducted a regional business planning effort to explore viable options for how a new regional partnership might be structured, what services it might provide, what assets it might own, how it might be governed and how it might be funded. This “regional business planning” effort resulted in a second MOU signed in April 2012 providing agreement-in-principle for the framework of the new partnership. Key elements of the MOU included formation of the new entity under the Joint Municipal Utility Services Act (RCW 39.106); use of an asset-based cost allocation model; oversight from a four member Board of Directors composed of one elected official from each agency; and contracting key administrative and operational responsibilities to the Member agencies best suited to provide those services.
- Alliance Formation. Building on the April 2012 MOU, an Interlocal Formation Agreement (IFA) was completed in September 2012, providing the necessary framework elements for the Discovery Clean Water Alliance (Alliance). The IFA was registered with the Washington State Office of Secretary of State on January 4, 2013 to legally form the Alliance. The Alliance Board of Directors then met for the first time on January 18, 2013 where a series of initial resolutions were approved to establish the basic operating framework for the Alliance. Also approved on that date was an initial two-year operating budget to support transition activities in 2013 and 2014. The Alliance will assume full operational responsibility for the Regional Assets on January 1, 2015 (the Alliance Operations Date). The individuals serving on the Board of Directors at the first official meeting of the Alliance were: Mayor Lisa Walters - City of Battle Ground; Commissioner Tom Mielke - Clark County; Commissioner Neil Kimsey - Clark Regional Wastewater District; and Mayor Ron Onslow - City of Ridgefield.