SPU Proposes to Update Charges for Development-Related Services

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) plans to update charges for development-related services on Oct. 1, 2018, pending the adoption of a director’s rule. SPU sets separate charges for specific services the utility performs for individual customers.

As part of SPU’s revised Strategic Business Plan, approved by City Council last year, the utility was directed to update its charges for the installation and connection of new water services (taps), to ensure the charges recover the actual costs associated with providing these services.

To increase predictability, fairness, and transparency to customers, SPU also plans to update separate charges for other development-related services including water main extensions, hydrant services, drainage and wastewater core taps, and others. Updating these charges will ensure that SPU is recovering the full cost and that ratepayers are not subsidizing these individual services.

To update separate charges, SPU will need to adopt a director’s rule. The public can comment on the rule during a formal comment period in August 2018.

These 2018 charge updates include a portion of SPU’s separate charges. A phased approach will be implemented to update the remaining separate charges. Future charge updates will be reviewed on a recurring schedule.

For more information, and to review the draft Director’s Rule, read SPU’s blog article.

 

Public art projects honored by Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review

Americans for the Arts honored 49 outstanding public arts projects created in 2017 through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects include three from Seattle’s Public Art Program.

The three projects that were recognized are:

Vessels by Nicole Kistler: Vessels are a series of cast iron sculptures that dot the community garden on Seattle Public Utilities property at Beacon Reservoir. Building on the inspiration of the reservoir as a container, they evoke puffball mushrooms holding spores, berries holding seeds, seed pods, and ceramic water jugs. The sculptures also hold stories from the community. Kistler interviewed Beacon Food Forest volunteers and neighbors over several summer months capturing food stories and traditions on audio and imbedded phrases into the permanent works. Commissioned with Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art Funds.

BorderLands: The first exhibition ARTS organized at King Street Station, BorderLands featured 2D- and 3D works from the City’s collection as well as site-specific installations. The exhibition, focusing on themes of belonging and resistance, was on view on the third floor of King Street Station.

Poetry on Buses, a collaboration with 4Culture and funded through Seattle Public Utilities 1% for Art funds: Poetry on Buses invited King County residents to create, share, and experience poetry on public transit, online, and in community on the theme “Your Body of Water.”

Dating back to 1992, Poetry on Buses was reimagined in 2014 to foster relationships with immigrant and undeserved communities, featured multiple languages, and transformed the commute for culture—on bus and on smartphone. The 2017-18 program was multi-modal and featured poetry in nine languages.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate, and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed on this page and were on display throughout the Annual Convention. Three independent public art experts—Bryan Lee, Jr., director of design at Colloqate Design in New Orleans; Karen Mack, executive director of LA Commons in Los Angeles; and Denver artist Patrick Marold—discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions in selecting this year’s choices for the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2017. This is the 17th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public art works.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

 

Reminder: Multiple Meter Flow Test Improvement

Beginning June 4, 2018, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will make changes to the multiple meter flow test process to ensure that meters are connected to the correct private water lines in order to improve billing accuracy.

For projects with multiple two-inch and smaller water meters, SPU requires a multiple meter flow test before receiving water service. Each meter will have a tag containing the address of the building or unit the meter is intended to supply and directions on how to contact SPU to initiate the required inspection.

You are required to get an inspection prior to receiving water service to ensure the private water service line from each building or unit is connected to the meter designed to serve it.

When you are ready for a flow test inspection, call (206) 684‑5800. You will need to confirm the following information:

  • The correct addresses for the meters ready for a flow test inspection. You cannot request the inspections without the correct addresses. If you are unsure of the address, check the tag in the meter box.
  • The legal addresses, as assigned by the permitting agency, are clearly visible and affixed on the building.
  • Private plumbing has been connected to the City union and passed, or is ready for a Utility Service Inspection private water line inspection.
  • There are no issues to access the spigot and meter box in order to complete the flow test.
  • The project is ready for inspection.

 

SPU will typically conduct the inspection within 5-business days of your request. Once the inspection is complete, the SPU inspector will turn on the water.

This process will ensure water meters are installed in the approved manner, which is important for future renters or property owners. By contacting SPU prior to the inspection, we can help clarify requirements for a successful inspection which will promote coordination and improve efficiency.

For more information, please contact the Development Services Office at spu_dso@seattle.gov or (206) 684‑3333.

Composting, Recycling & Garbage, Oh My!

‑Multifamily, Mixed-use, and Townhouse Solid Waste Storage and Service

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) review of solid waste storage and service plans is required for all multifamily, mixed-use, and townhouse projects, as well as projects planning the use of compactors and those without on-site parking or a curb cut.

Last fall SPU launched the Checklist for Developers to help designers plan code-complaint storage and access for composting, recycling, and garbage. SPU requires that each project complete a Checklist before review, and an SPU approval letter is required before your Master Use Permit is issued.

Client Assistance Memo 1301 provides important guidelines for developing code-compliant and functional solid waste storage rooms and plans. It is an important source of information that will help you successfully complete the Checklist.

Contact SPU early with your solid waste storage area and collection questions.  Submitting your plans before Early Design Guidance will help ensure functional and code-compliant solid waste storage and access, and reduce costs and frustration associated with changes later in the application process.

Here are some tips to comply with lesser-known code and practical requirements:

  • Location: Site your solid waste room as close as possible to an alley or non-major arterial service location. Truck drivers can only move 2-cubic-yard and smaller containers 50 feet or less; larger containers (3 yard and 4 yard), or those stored more than 50 feet from the collection location will have to be moved by maintenance staff to a staging area located on the property. Alternatively, you must request special permission from SDOT to stage dumpsters in the right-of-way.
  • Slope: Dumpsters cannot be accessed or moved on slopes greater than 6 percent.
  • Shared Service: Townhouse projects with 10 or more units must have an HOA to pay for shared solid waste services (shared carts or dumpsters, typically dumpsters).

Please contact Angela Wallis at angela.wallis@seattle.gov with questions.

Multiple Meter Flow Test Improvement

Beginning June 4, 2018, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will make changes to the multiple meter flow test process to ensure that meters are connected to the correct private water lines in order to improve billing accuracy.

For projects with multiple two-inch and smaller water meters, SPU requires a multiple meter flow test before receiving water service. Each meter will have a tag containing the address of the building or unit the meter is intended to supply and directions on how to contact SPU to initiate the required inspection.

You are required to get an inspection prior to receiving water service to ensure the private water service line from each building or unit is connected to the meter designed to serve it.

When you are ready for a flow test inspection, call (206) 684‑5800. You will need to confirm the following information:

  • The correct addresses for the meters ready for a flow test inspection. You cannot request the inspections without the correct addresses. If you are unsure of the address, check the tag in the meter box.
  • The legal addresses, as assigned by the permitting agency, are clearly visible and affixed on the building.
  • Private plumbing has been connected to the City union and passed, or is ready for a Utility Service Inspection private water line inspection.
  • There are no issues to access the spigot and meter box in order to complete the flow test.
  • The project is ready for inspection.

 

SPU will typically conduct the inspection within 5-business days of your request. Once the inspection is complete, the SPU inspector will turn on the water.

This process will ensure water meters are installed in the approved manner, which is important for future renters or property owners. By contacting SPU prior to the inspection, we can help clarify requirements for a successful inspection which will promote coordination and improve efficiency.

For more information, please contact the Development Services Office at spu_dso@seattle.gov or (206) 684‑3333.