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News-Times Whidbey

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2012 | Vol. 113, No. 66 | | 75¢

SPORTS: Long distance running has new meaning. A9

Downtown selected as sewer plant site By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Oak Harbor’s $93.5-million waste water treatment facility will be built downtown, in the vicinity of Windjammer Park. Following more than two years of studies, field trips and public meetings, the City Council picked the site for the future sewage treatment plant during an eventful meeting dedicated to the issue Tuesday night. Both the mayor and the city engineer

spoke on the monumental importance of the decision. “This is one of the greatest decisions the City Council will make for the next generation,” City Engineer Eric Johnston said. “This is a longstanding decision that will be with us for many years.” The odor-free plant will use one of the most advanced treatment processes available, which means clean and clear water will be discharged into the bay. The antiquated and

malodorous sewage treatment plant in the middle of the waterfront park will likely be demolished. But residents will see their monthly bills for sewage treatment double in the next five years to help pay for the project. The monthly rate could be as high as $100 a month by the year 2020. The proposal, as it currently stands, is for the city to purchase the former Chevrolet dealership on Pioneer Way

and build it there, though other properties in the area could be considered. The property is adjacent to Windjammer Park and the home of a new business, Pioneer Automotive Services. Johnston said no one at the city has approached the owner of the $2-million property yet about the possible sale. In making the final decision, council members and Mayor Scott Dudley made

it clear that they don’t want the construction of the facility to result in a net loss of park land. Members of the council and the public focused on the difficulty of the final decision. Earlier this year the council had narrowed the potential sites to Windjammer Park and “Crescent Harbor North,” which is a 24-acre piece of land on the north

“This is one of the greatest decisions the City Council will make for the next generation.” Eric Johnston, city engineer

See Sewer, A4

Hot time at the ol’ fair today By BEN WATANABE Staff reporter

Long lines and high temperatures greeted visitors on the opening day of the Whidbey Island Area Fair. And the weather is expected to be just as bright and sunny this weekend. A bustling crowd led to a line 40-people deep at one point Thursday, all waiting to buy tickets for the nine rides at the Island County Fairgrounds in Langley. Several were multi-fair attendees who claimed the first day was their preference because of a smaller crowd compared to the rush of weekend visitors. Fewer people made for shorter lines at the rides — once they opened after a safety inspection delayed some rides’ start by about an hour. That suited 11-yearold Langley resident Parker Duncan just fine because he had a mighty appetite for the Super Slide, which he claimed (and to which his mother, Sherry, attested) he rode 20 times. “I like the slide,” Parker said. He also had a tip about the Mardi Gras fun house. “We know a secret

Ben Watanabe / Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor residents Emily Foran, 8, and Isabel Foran, 5, giggle after Deano the Clown elicits laughter by sucking his thumb like a baby at the Whidbey Island Fair. button,” Parker said, elaborating that there is a button on the third mirror from the end that triggers a special sound. The slide was the safe bet after a day full of fair food. Between Parker and his mom, the Duncans consumed classic carnival fare

like curly fries, shaved ice, root beer floats, lemonade and an elephant ear. Shaved ice and its myriad flavors from cherry and root beer to Godzilla and Tiger Blood, was a major score in the near 90-degree heat. By mid-afternoon, well before the unusually warm tempera-

tures hit, the shaved ice stand had sold about 40 small orders and 20 large orders. Later in the day, but still before the sun dipped behind the western tree line, people carrying shaved ice cups could be seen across the fairgrounds. With temperatures expected to remain in the 80s through

the weekend, the shaved ice stand workers predicted more traffic and more sales Friday and Saturday. The fair is a kid’s paradise. Sugar, fried food, adorable animals and thrilling rides are everywhere. Deano the Clown kicked off the fair’s entertainment and mesmer-

ized more than 20 kids and about 50 adults from the Eva See fair, A4

Whidbey News-Times, August 18, 2012