When two entirely separate entities are known by a similar name, confusion naturally arises. This fact became very apparent to Shoreline Water District in the comments we received both during and after the recent Proposition 1 vote by residents of the City of Shoreline.
Now that Proposition 1 has passed, the chances for confusion are even higher, given that water service will eventually be provided by two entirely separate entities with similar names.
In an effort to eliminate confusion, our Board of Commissioners is planning to change your Water District’s name this year. We know you’ve got questions; please allow us to answer them for you here:
Q: Why change names now?
A. Back when water service for Shoreline residents was provided by two separate entities with different names (Shoreline Water District and Seattle Public Utilities), there was only minor cause for confusion.
Fast forward to today: we receive phone calls about storm water repairs, flooding issues, and even street maintenance issues—all of which fall under the City of Shoreline’s jurisdiction.
Now that the City of Shoreline is planning to go into the water business (once they negotiate a final price for the SPU system), having water service provided by two different entities under a very similar name will create far more confusion.
When Shoreline residents contact us to say how “excited they were that we were finally purchasing the SPU water system,” or that they “voted for Proposition 1 because they believed we were the ones trying to purchase the SPU system,” we realized that many residents had no idea there were two separate water providers, that we were not involved with the west side service or the SPU purchase. Even now, long after the vote, we’re still getting confused calls about this issue.
Q: How long has Shoreline Water District been providing water utility service?
A: Shoreline Water District was the first water utility founded in our area in 1931, under the name “King County Water District No. 42.” In 1992, we changed our name to Shoreline Water District. Three years later, the City used the same “Shoreline” name when they incorporated in 1995.
Q: Who does Shoreline Water District serve?
A: 40% of the residents of Shoreline (primarily those who live on the EAST side of I-5), and 40% of the residents living in Lake Forest Park.
Q: Who serves residents on the west side of I-5?
A: Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) currently serves residents on the WEST side of I-5, but that’s all about to change.
Q: Will it cost anything to change the name?
A: We are preparing to move back into our original administration building later this spring. Because the City of Shoreline required us to remove our existing elevated sign as part of our building permit, we already have to replace the sign. As for stationary or billing statements, a name change will be a simple wording edit, which will not be made until we run out of our current supplies. Decals will be changed out whenever a vehicle is replaced.
Q: What names are being considered?
A: In response to our last newsletter, our postcard mailer, the billing statement alert, and our public meeting, we’ve received a number of great naming ideas. Our Board of Commissioners will consider all of them and make a final selection some time later this Spring. For more information, feel free to give us a call at (206) 362-8100.