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Posted on: November 1, 2019

Commissioners' Corner (Issue 184)

I use “minding the store” as the theme for this Commissioner Corner article. The message about minding the store follows from my own experience working at the “Corner Grocery Store” on the corner of 20th South and Jackson Street in Seattle. The lessons I learned from the owner and customers of this neighborhood grocery store those many years ago are still as valid today as they were then. The most basic lesson I took from that experience is that you should never lose sight of the goal of providing good customer service if you want to be successful. 

At Lakehaven Water & Sewer District, we are committed to providing quality service to our customers. An old-fashioned attitude of attention to detail and caring for those served is part of our everyday operations. It takes more than good intentions to deliver quality service. In this industry, the best practices include making sure that our infrastructure and equipment are in good working order and up to industry standards. This requires that we continually review and update our Capital Improvement Program, which establishes a plan for investing in infrastructure and equipment over a ten-year horizon. Staying on top of equipment and technology systems needs brings a measurable impact on the overall efficiency of our operations. 

Currently (and as we do every year), we are busy coordinating with the City of Federal Way on street asphalt overlay projects the City will be undertaking in 2020. When the City replaces the asphalt layer on roads, we use it as an opportunity to replace older facilities located along the roadway being resurfaced. By completing these projects prior to the resurfacing of the road, we avoid cutting into new asphalt to replace aging facilities, which, in many cases, means that we would have to do a new overlay of the roadway in conjunction with our work. The planning that keeps this from happening helps keep costs down. 

We know that you want the service to be reliable. In the case of water, having available water seems simple: we turn the faucet on and the water comes out. Take it from someone who has been on the Board for many years; it takes a lot of planning to make this happen. The supply of water from wells and our Second Supply Pipeline took many years to develop. Fortunately, with the supply we have now, you can count on that faucet to work for the next 75 to 100 years.

Whether it is the water or wastewater utility, we like to think of ourselves as the quiet service provider that enhances your quality of life. 

It is a pleasure to serve you all.

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