PLDD History – Background

Wonder why the PLDD was formed? Curious about how drainage was handled before the PLDD? The LMC had a Drainage Committee. Bud Kerns was an active participant of the committee. Following is a statement he gave at the May 10, 2012 PLDD Regular Meeting.

“My name is Bud Kerns, My wife Joanne and I became LMC (Ludlow Maintenance Commission) members in 1990. We moved to this lovely place and very soon found that there’s one shortcoming of having a village built on a hill, when it rains really hard that rain runs downhill, and unless it’s controlled it causes problems for people all over the place.

This was very paramount for us in December of 1993 and especially in December of 1996, when our part of Port Ludlow flooded. Montgomery Lane became a river and a lake formed at the low part.

I personally walked in water almost up to my knee in hip boots, for about 50 yards. There was obviously a problem.

During those early 1990 years, it was hard for me to understand or visualize that in a new community like ours, no one would take responsibility for controlling that water that was coming down from up the hill.

There were other people interested in this same problem, we approached the county, we approached the developer of this area and we didn’t get much satisfaction. The county acknowledged their responsibility for the roads under their control and the 10 foot easement on each side of that road. The developer was reluctant, more reluctant to commit to anything.

We had meetings with lawyers, endless, endless meetings in the late 1990’s, to resolve this problem to a point where nothing was moving except the deterioration of the original drainage system in this part of Port Ludlow, and it was rapidly disintegrating.

Apparently, most of the culverts were of galvanized metal of over 30 years old, and they were falling apart fast. The culverts weren’t holding the water, the water wasn’t getting into Admiralty Inlet, and it just flowed out elsewhere. It became a very difficult situation, so LMC formed a Drainage Committee to try to answer some of these questions of what do we do, where do we go from here.

The committee came up with six options for the LMC Board of Trustees. From doing nothing, to litigation. The LMC Board was provided with all kinds of background information for all six options.

The Board finally choose an option in the middle, of forming their own Drainage District, this involved going to the public, the residents in general within the drainage area, to vote [petition] a county-operated vote of whether to form a 1) Drainage Commission, or 2) to accept an assessment to fund that Drainage Commission.

That vote was overwhelming in favor; I think it was about 65% of the people voting on that issue, voted to proceed with the development of the Drainage District and the funding of that Drainage District.

It wasn’t until about 2001 when the Drainage District became functional really, it took time to get organized and that sort of thing. Since that time there’s been a tremendous effort by a lot of people to make the Drainage District successful and to solve the long term problems of our area of Port Ludlow. I think the efforts have been very successful. There have been several big projects, but not all inclusive of our area, there is still one major project to go. But, we have in place at this point in time paid for a working drainage system that has been doing its job, and will last several decades.

There are a number of people that have contributed substantially to this program. I think the Commissioners of the last 10 or 12 years have done a great job, their staff has done a great job. We’ve had very successful input from our consultants, our civil & hydraulic engineering professionals; they’ve done a good job. I think it’s worthwhile if you haven’t done it to walk around the neighborhood and look at some of the projects that have been done, they’re there to stay and they’re doing their job. I think the PLDD and what they’ve done has positively enhanced the value of our homes and interests here in Port Ludlow, if we hadn’t of had this, I don’t think any of us in this room would be happy with where we are or what’s happening to our property. That’s a little bit of the history of what’s gone on up until today. We all owe gratitude to those who have contributed to this program and we hope that it continues, thank you”

Bud Kerns, LMC Drainage Committee 1998-1999