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City of Shoreline

Proposition No. 1
Acquisition and Local Control of Seattle Water Services in Shoreline

The Shoreline City Council passed Ordinance No. 644 concerning the City of Shoreline’s acquisition and operation of water services of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) within Shoreline west of Interstate 5.

The Ordinance would authorize Shoreline to acquire SPU water services in Shoreline without increasing projected rates. The $26.6 million acquisition in 2020 and $14.2 million in pre-acquisition improvements (without adjustment for inflation) would be financed by water rates in Shoreline’s new service area. The Ordinance would remove the current surcharge and utility tax paid by Shoreline customers to Seattle. Shoreline local control of rates, upgrades, and water supply for firefighting would replace Seattle control.

Should Ordinance No. 644 be:



Shoreline’s vision is to provide high quality public services, utilities, and infrastructure that protect public health and safety, accommodate anticipated growth, and enhance the quality of life.  As part of that effort, the Shoreline City Council passed Ordinance No. 644 concerning Shoreline’s acquisition and operation of Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) water services within Shoreline. 

The Shoreline City Council found the cost to acquire, operate, and maintain the system would result in rates equal to or lower than SPU’s projected charges.  If approved, Proposition 1 would not impact property taxes. 

Acquisition would occur in 2020 and cost $26.6 million with an estimated $14.2 million for pre-acquisition expenses and improvements beginning in 2018 (without adjustment for inflation) as discussed in Ordinance No. 644.  Both costs would be financed using water rates in the Shoreline service area.  The acquisition would remove the current surcharge and utility tax paid by Shoreline customers to Seattle. 

Shoreline acquisition would make permitting for property improvements easier and less expensive by reducing the number of government entities involved.  Acquisition would also allow revenues to be reinvested in Shoreline instead of Seattle and enable the City to focus on system improvements to help improve Shoreline’s commercial districts and increase water flow for firefighting throughout the City of Shoreline.  Currently, decisions regarding rates, upgrades and water supply for firefighting are made by Seattle elected officials.  If approved, Proposition 1 would shift local control of these decisions from Seattle to the City of Shoreline.

The process to acquire the Seattle Public Utility (SPU) water system, located in Shoreline, Washington has been cautious and responsible. The twenty-three member SPU acquisition Steering Committee, a diverse and committed representation of our community, was involved in reviewing multiple staff and independent engineering and financial studies. This in-depth analysis resulted in a recommendation to purchase the Seattle Public Utility (SPU) water system located in Shoreline.

Acquiring this utility allows us to plan for our future and assure adequate infrastructure that will support our City’s long term needs. The City of Shoreline leadership has proved that they are fiscally responsible and prepared to take this next step to acquire and operate the water services of SPU within Shoreline.

We believe this bold and progressive step will allow Shoreline residents greater control over their rates, charges, and utility taxes. In addition, owning this utility will not affect property taxes.

Please join us in voting YES to keep Shoreline’s money in Shoreline to improve the City of Shoreline!

Proposition 1 is a blank check for City Hall.

This is a scheme to raise utility taxes and water bills.

City Hall will increase those taxes and water rates any time they choose without a vote of the people.

This flawed strategy shifts the costs of increasing city spending onto local businesses, working families, and senior citizens. City Hall has not considered other ideas, like growing our economy to produce more revenues.

Local control does not require total control by City Hall.

Proposition 1 would threaten Ronald Wastewater District and Shoreline Water District, which already provide the best service at the lowest price because they legally must reinvest every drop of revenue to operate, maintain, and improve their systems. City Hall has no such requirement.

Shoreline’s ratepayers have already paid for their existing water system. Don’t buy it again. No one knows what the final costs will be, or what it will include. If Seattle decides to sell its system, Seattle will set the price. Proposition 1 is a bad investment. We cannot afford to make that mistake.

Don't give City Hall a blank check. Vote NO on Proposition 1.

Bottom line, Shoreline water customers should not continue to pay a 14% water rate surcharge to Seattle plus an additional 15% Seattle utility tax.

Voting yes means improved efficiencies, our dollars stay in Shoreline and residents have greater local control regarding rates, upgrades and water supply for firefighting. 

We can purchase and operate the water system with no increase in property taxes or projected future water rates.  VOTE YES on Proposition 1.   

Statement submitted by: Joseph Irons, David Harris and Sydell Polin

Proposition 1 means taxes, takeovers, and troubles.

Vote NO and stop City Hall from raising utility taxes. Vote NO and prevent City Hall from taking over Ronald Wastewater and Shoreline Water Districts. Vote NO and stop City Hall from making risky changes to the water system that provides clean, safe drinking water.

This is your last chance to stop a terrible idea.

Don't give City Hall a blank check! Vote NO on Proposition 1.


Statement submitted by: John Behrens, Thomas Jamieson and Arthur Maronek


Simple Majority (RCW 35.92.070)

1253 en-US Production

TTY: Relay 711

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