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Lacey council: Saint Martin’s nominates Old Main for historic register

Old Main, the grand old building atop the hill that is the centerpiece of Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, has been nominated by the university to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

That’s according to Lori Flemm, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, who announced the nomination at Thursday’s Lacey City Council meeting.

As part of the process, the National Park Service, requires that a local government hold a public meeting where residents can comment on the nomination.

The Lacey Historical Commission meeting to address the nomination will be 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at Lacey City Hall, 420 College St. SE.

After the historical commission makes a recommendation, it will go before a committee of the Lacey City Council, then is expected to go before the full council on Oct. 9, Flemm said in an email.

Old Main was built in 1913, with a side wing added in 1923, she said. The 120,000-square-foot L-shaped building is an example of Collegiate Gothic architecture.

“The nominated resources include the second generation of the original campus building, a statue and formal entry stairs,” she said.

PUBLIC HEARING

Lacey City Council, following a public hearing, unanimously approved a $2.5 million sewer project known as Utility Local Improvement District 24 for a Tanglewilde neighborhood called Tanglewilde East Division 3B.

The neighborhood, which is served by an aging onsite septic system, is within Alki St. NE to the west and Meridian road NE to the east. It consists of several types of homes, or what the city calls about 160 equivalent residential units.

Those within the targeted area voiced support for ULID 24, saying sewer service would increase the value of their homes.

“I’m in favor of hooking up, but I’m not in favor of paying for it, but we’ll do it,” said Caren Rose of Olympia, who said she owns a duplex in the area.

But there was confusion among some residents who live near Tanglewilde East Division 3B on Skokomish Way NE. And there’s some history with that street.

Last fall, the city pursued the same project for the same area but it was known then as ULID 22 and included homes along Skokomish Way.

Skokomish Way residents balked at the cost and ULID 22 failed.

ULID 24 was redrawn to exclude Skokomish Way, although those residents could voluntarily hook up to the sewer at a later date at their own cost.

But some Skokomish Way residents still wondered whether they would be forced to hook up and, if so, what would it cost?

Lacey Public Works management analyst Tom Palmateer said there’s a chance that they could be required to hook up if they have a mortgage through a federal home loan program such as FHA, VA or HUD. Or, if their septic fails, the state Department of Health might require it, he said. The estimated cost to connect might be $22,000.

That’s higher than what residents of Tanglewilde East Division 3B would pay because some of that sewer infrastructure already is in place.

The cost for a single-family residence connection is estimated at about $15,000, but if the Tanglewilde East Sewer Association applies $700,000 in cash reserves, the connection cost would be lowered to about $11,000.

The city will issue bonds to pay for the project and will either be repaid by lump sum payments — $15,000 or $11,000 — or through annual assessments with an interest rate similar to the going rate on the bonds.

Based on a five percent interest rate over 20 years, annual assessments to repay $15,000 would be about $1,200; at $11,000, it’s about $920, Finance Director Troy Woo said.

The Skokomish Way residents also asked if they could form their own ULID, but Public Works Director Scott Egger said he wasn’t sure that would be in the city’s best interest after they rejected ULID 22. Still, they could petition to have one formed, but Egger said he would like to see more than 60 percent support for it.

After the vote, Tanglewilde East Division 3B residents applauded the council’s decision.

“We ended up in the ditch,” said councilman Jeff Gadman about the city’s efforts with ULID 22, “but in the end, we’ve made most people happy.”

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