May 11, 2013 was a memorable day, when City Public Works Director Fred Buckenmeyer (right) hosted a celebration of the new $58 million water treatment plant on the Skagit River. Then Mayor Dean Maxwell presided over one of the largest public utility expansion projects in the state at that time (from February 2011 to May 2013). In addition to providing water for the city, the WTP provides water for commercial businesses, industry and agriculture. Among the city’s water clients are the City of Oak Harbor and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The utility serves 56,000 residential customers and thousands of businesses in Skagit and Island counties. The WTP produces about 42 million gallons per day. Buckenmeyer is pictured here with project contractor Brandt Barnes.
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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