The Roosevelt reservoir is undergoing an approximately 2-year test to determine whether it will be needed by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) for future use as a reservoir. The test began in March 2013, so the latest a decision would be made about whether to decommission the reservoir would be at the end of March 2015.
If SPU decides to de-commission the reservoir, an assessment would be made about whether it may be needed for any other “utility” purpose. If not, the assessment could be declared surplus. This decision would be internal to SPU and could happen within a few months upon conclusion of the reservoir testing.
If the reservoir is declared surplus, the asset would be subject to the “review and decision” process for all surplus City of Seattle assets, as depicted in the attached chart.
There are typically three points of public comment in a typical, “simple” surplusing process: first, at the time the asset is declared surplus; second, after the City analyzes alternative uses and recommends the criteria for evaluation the disposition of the asset; and third, prior to completion/closing of the sale or lease of the asset.
A note on Fair Market Value (FMV): State Law requires that the utility must receive FMV for the asset. So even if the property ends up under the ownership of a public agency, such as another City of Seattle Department, other local government, or even a non-profit, SPU would need to receive fair market compensation for the property. Given funding challenges at all levels of local government, funding strategies for non-income generating uses that might be contemplated for the site would likely need to be put in place prior to the notice of disposition to be deemed competitive in a FMV context. However, given the size and location of the reservoir, it seems highly likely that a mixture of uses – both civic and private – may be possible. Thus, the scale of required funding would be proportionate to the amount of the asset needed to accommodate the desired public uses.
RBCA has written a letter to the Parks Department asking that they consider making the Roosevelt Reservoir into a park.