The Auburn City Council in September executed an easement for King County on a part of 41.5 acres of property along the White River and north of Roegner Park that the City bought in August 2015 from Puget Sound Energy for flood protection benefits.
The 2015 acquisition cost the city – nothing.
Instead, the City tapped the King County Flood Control District’s Sub-Regional Opportunity Fund, which paid $75,000 for the land and $8,727 for all real estate transaction costs.
This month, the City is officially designating the area, now known as The White River Flood Protection Area, with acknowledgement signs for its funding contributor, and others designating the property as a sensitive area, to be protected from activities such as trampling, littering and cutting of vegetation. The area is within a flood hazard zone, and is known to flood when the White River is experiencing high water volume, and thus water levels may rise rapidly and without warning.
The easement allows King County access to build, inspect, monitor, rebuild, maintain and repair river bank protections like levees or other flood related works, including installation, inspection and maintenance of vegetation, and may be a location for future habitat improvement for critically endangered species such as Chinook salmon and other native aquatic and riparian species.