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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Jim Bachmeier, Water Resources Manager, 360-754-4275

County Commissioners Honor Rochester School District for Water Quality Efforts

OLYMPIA - Thurston County Commissioners are recognizing the Rochester School District for partnering in an effort to protect groundwater and to provide education about the importance of water quality. The district is the first in the county to partner with the Thurston County Stormwater Utility to complete the pilot Stormwater Rate Credit application.

Under the program, the district completed a comprehensive inspection and maintenance of their stormwater facilities which are critical to providing water quality treatment for pollution in runoff from impervious surfaces such as parking lots. Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe says this is a win for the school district and the community. "We appreciate the willingness of the district to become involved in this program. This partnership between the district and the county will help with the upkeep of their storm water facilities while at the same time contributing to the protection of groundwater in the area." Rochester Schools Superintendent Kim Frye says the district is grateful to Thurston County for this program and the stormwater rate credit. "When we pay less in fees, it allows us to keep the limited education funding we have in our classrooms directly impacting student learning."

There is also an important education component to the program. The Rochester School District's inclusion of comprehensive water resources materials, curriculum and activities, helps students learn about the importance of protecting and preserving critical water resources. In recognition of their participation in the watershed education program and the "Chehalis Basin Education Consortium", and their inspection and maintenance activities, the District earned a 50% rebate of 2011 county stormwater fees. The total amount returned to the district was $9,071.

The county is actively seeking other school districts to take part in the Stormwater Rate Credit Program.



County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3