Lacey approves eminent domain to secure land for largest water well replacement

The city's current well has severe corrosion and erosion issues


The Lacey City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1661, authorizing the use of eminent domain to acquire property rights for the Well 7 Replacement Project.  

The decision, made during the council meeting on June 4, passed with a 5-1 vote. Deputy Mayor Malcolm Miller was the sole dissenting vote, while Mayor Andy Ryder was excused from the meeting.  

City Attorney David Schneider and Water Department Supervisor Ed Andrews presented detailed information on the necessity of replacing Well 7.  

"Eminent domain is a legal process to acquire property necessary for public use," Schneider explained, emphasizing that it is only used when absolutely necessary for a public purpose. 

This step is being taken to replace Well 7, the city's largest producing well, which is crucial for Lacey’s water supply. 

Andrews provided specific details about the well's location and its critical role in the city's water supply.  

“This well does just about half a billion. We run this well a lot because it is a large well, a good producer, and where it's geographically located within the pressure zone in the city is very important to us,” said Andrews. 

“This is a big producer of water, and we really depend on this.” 

The well, originally drilled in 1976, has shown signs of declining capacity despite rehabilitation efforts.  

"We are desperate to save this well," Andrews said, highlighting the well's severe corrosion and erosion issues. 

The city's preferred alternative for the replacement well requires acquiring additional property within 75 feet of the existing well to ensure similar aquifer properties. 

Schneider assured the council that the city had followed all legal procedures and maintained cordial negotiations with the property owners.  

However, he emphasized the urgency of moving forward. "Time to acquire these parcels is running short," he said. "We need to prepare for possible condemnation action." 

Deputy Mayor Miller expressed concerns about not being able to read or access the city’s direct communication with the property owners.  

"I hesitate to support this without seeing the evidence and hearing from the property owners," Miller stated. 

Despite these concerns, Schneider clarified that the council's action was to determine that the property is necessary for public use and authorizing his office to proceed with an eminent domain action. 

“I can only ensure the council that all of the requirements of the law have been followed and the fact that we have an appraisal,” said Schneider 

Well 7 is the largest producing well in Lacey's water system, with an instantaneous water right of 2,100 gallons per minute.  


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  • AugieH

    Reminds me of the 1967 film "Waterhole #3". Now, that was funny!

    Thursday, June 6 Report this