Commissioners Approve Fidalgo Island System Transfer to Anacortes

Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Skagit PUD Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday night to move forward with the Fidalgo Island Water System Asset Transfer and Improvement Agreement between the PUD and the city of Anacortes.

The PUD and Anacortes have been working for nearly two years on an agreement to transfer the Fidalgo Island Water System (FIWS) ownership from the PUD to the city. Due to the proximity of the FIWS to other retail service areas of the Anacortes water system, it was determined that transferring the FIWS will improve maintenance and emergency response times while resulting in economic and water service-related efficiencies in the continued operation, maintenance, and improvement of the FIWS.

The Fidalgo Island system provides water to Similk and Dewey Beach, Gibralter, Fidalgo Heights, and Summit Park, serving 732 residential and commercial connections. Currently, water is purchased through an interconnection with Anacortes and the source being the Skagit River in Mount Vernon. Water is filtered and chlorinated at the Anacortes water treatment plant on Riverbend Road.

The Fidalgo Island water system was established in 1956 when residents of several Similk Bay-area neighborhoods created Local Utility District No. 2 and asked Skagit PUD to build and operate the water system to be funded by water rates. The system expanded in 1961 to include Gibralter and Dewey Beach.

In March 2020, the PUD and Anacortes held a joint informational open house for customers to learn about proposed water service changes to the Fidalgo Island Water System. The PUD Commissioners and the Anacortes City Council held public comment periods last September. At its regular meeting on July 27, 2021, the Board of Commissioners approved the transfer agreement, and the Anacortes City Council approved the deal on August 9.

The resolution approved Tuesday night formalizes the agreement between the PUD and Anacortes to complete the necessary infrastructure improvements and transfer the FIWS to the city. The current estimate for the PUD to carry out the improvement projects is $1,151,000, and these funds will come from the PUD’s Capital Improvement Program funding.