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Negotiations underway for Outlook water, sewer study

OUTLOOK - Yakima County will get a better idea of how much it will cost to rehabilitate Outlook's water and sewer systems.

That's after county commissioners yesterday authorized Utilities Manager Joe Stump to negotiate a contract for a feasibility study.

The study to look into Outlook's sewer and water difficulties will be funded with a $24,000 Community Development Block grant and a $26,000 Department of Health grant.

Stump said the feasibility study will consider all options, ranging from building new infrastructure for Outlook's existing wells to hooking up to Sunnyside's sewer and water systems.

"We've had discussions with Sunnyside," he said, noting the city was receptive to helping however it could.

If the county opts to hook Outlook into the city's system, residents there would pay one-and-a-half times the water and sewer rates that Sunnyside citizens pay. Stump said the county would talk with the city in hopes of mitigating the extra amount Outlook residents would have to pay under that scenario.

Outlook residents will be kept informed, and their input sought throughout the course of the feasibility study, Stump said.

"We'll have a community forum with Outlook residents next month," he said. The meeting will be part of the feasibility study, which he said should wrap up by this October.

At that time, Stump noted, another meeting will be held with Outlook residents to discuss the results of the study, as well as water and sewer alternatives.

Outlook's water and sewer services have been a concern for the county since a public health emergency was declared there several years ago.

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