Lacey considers accord with Nisqually Indian Tribe

Agreement would commemorate partnership between city, tribe that affects jail, water rights

rboone@theolympian.comJanuary 4, 2014 

The Lacey City Council during its work session Thursday night discussed and likely will approve next week an accord between the city and the Nisqually Indian Tribe that memorializes their partnership.

The tribe and the city have worked together closely over the years, including for jail services.

Last month the city approved a new, three-year jail agreement in which misdemeanor offenders will be housed in the Nisqually jail. The tribe’s new jail, which will have 200 to 300 beds, is expected to open this month or next, Lacey Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint said before Thursday’s meeting.

But it doesn’t stop there. City Manager Scott Spence said the tribe was instrumental in helping the city achieve its goal of more water rights, and the city will work with the tribe once it begins to develop property it owns in Hawks Prairie.

The tribe, along with Bellevue-based developer Mon Wig, paid $23 million in 2012 to purchase a 215-acre parcel in Hawks Prairie that was once set to be developed by Tri Vo. The tribe also previously purchased 37 acres nearby that give them a total of 252 acres in the same area.

The idea of an accord between the tribe and city received widespread support during the council work session, with several on the council calling it a historic document.

“I think it helps to recognize the importance that both groups have in this area,” councilman Jeff Gadman said.

Also Thursday night:

 • The council learned that an underground odor facility at the edge of Avonlea Park, which is west of College Street between 37th Avenue Southeast and 45th Avenue Southeast, failed last month, leaking the contents of its 1,500 gallon tank.

The tank contained a chemical, Bioxide, that is used to control wastewater odors. Bioxide contains no hazardous substances and ranks low on the toxicity scale, Public Works Director Scott Egger said during his presentation to the council.

He said class X chemicals are the most hazardous, followed by those in A, B, C and D classifications. Bioxide ranks low on the class D scale, he said.

The city has contacted the state Department of Ecology and an environmental cleanup company about the leak. The city is expected to approve next week a contract not to exceed $150,000 for the cleanup and disposal of the chemical. After that, the city will have to determine whether it wants to replace the underground tank or go with an above-ground structure, Egger said.

 • Michael Steadman took part in his first work session as the newest member of the council. Steadman, previously on the Lacey Planning Commission, defeated incumbent Ron Lawson in the November general election.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403

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