> There was a genuine sense of excitement in the air Friday as Anacortes Mayor Dean Maxwell hosted a groundbreaking event at the city water treatment plant in Mount Vernon. This $56 million project, which will take about two years, was prompted by the need to update a Skagit River facility built in 1970. Elements of the project include: a new treatment facility with state of the art pre-treatment; a transfer pumping station; a new chemical facility; a ground level storage tank; improvements to the plant’s electrical power supply and distribution services. Among those “turning a shovel” at the event were the mayor, Public Works Director Fred Buckenmeyer, three Skagit County commissioners, the mayor of Burlington, Anacortes City Council members and numerous project contractors. Also on hand were former city public works chiefs Bob Hyde and Jim Pemberton. Maxwell emphasized that in addition to protecting jobs among city water service customers (such as two refineries and NAS Whidbey), there will be temporary jobs during the two-year construction period.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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