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Barn Door Decor & Design

One of the latest interior decorating trends are sliding barn style doors.  Do you like them? Where would you put one?

Having a sliding door can come in handy in many places.  For example, you can put one over a hallway entrance that leads to bedrooms.  This can help cut back on noise coming from the family room area.  Also, very convenient for helping children sleep if you have company over or just want to watch some late night television.

Another place where a sliding barn door would also be nice is for working in a home office.   Being able to concentrate without noise from the other areas of the home is important. This is another place where a door with clear glass on top would be helpful.

You can use sliding barn doors outdoors as well as indoors, and not just on a barn.  I love the idea of putting one outside to hide a BBQ area behind like picture #2 on the right. This will help protect it from the elements as well.  If you are a fan of the TV show Let’s Make A Deal, you could number your doors, just for fun.

Need inspiration for how you might want your barn door to look?  Here are some great photos with different versions to feast your eyes upon until you find one that wets your appetite.  I love door #7 that has a see through panel at the top.  This helps let you see into the room as well as letting light still filter in.  I like this idea as it is high enough for privacy from younger children or pets, yet lets you be able to check in on them without having to disturb them.

 

Finally, if all this barn door talk has you wanting one of your own; building and installing one may not be as hard as you think. You could repurpose an old french door and have french sophistication while still letting the light in like Simply Southern Cottage did in the photo on the left.

For directions on making your own sliding barn door,  HGTV has put out a step-by-step guide for building and installing one.  Here is the link to the article with directions. 

I remember my mother saying, “Were you born in a barn?”  Well, with one or more of these sliding barn doors in”stall”ed I might be able to answer yes.  If you have a barn door in your home, or decide to make one of your own, please share your photos with us for further inspiration for all.

 

www.EverStarRealty.com

www.EverStarPropertyManagement.com

#interiordesign #tri-citieswa #realestate #barndoors

Fishing Derby For Kids This Saturday

Fishing DerbyKid’s Fishing Derby This Saturday!

Are you looking for a fun day with the kids?  Join the excitement for free for kids 2-11 years old.

Many trout will be stocked in McNary Ponds for this event. Special fish will be tagged for prizes.

All normal fishing regulations are in effect.

Bring your own fishing pole and gear; some loaner poles may be available.

An adult must accompany all children.

Each fish caught must be reeled in by a child 2-11 years old.

Day: Saturday
Dates: April 14th
Times: 10:00am-Noon
Cost: Free
Ages: 2-11 years
Location: McNary Ponds

Sponsored by Tom Denchel Ford

 

 

 

 

 

www.EverStarRealty.com

www.EverStarPropertyManagement.com

509-735-4042

1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A

Kennewick, WA 99336

Easter Egg Hunts Galore

 

If you’re looking for an Easter egg hung, there are plenty in the Tri-Cities area.  Here are the city sponsored ones with links to photo opportunities and other hunts below:

Pasco: 

Pasco Recreation Services’ event starts at 8:30 am with a pancake breakfast provided by the Lions Club.  The breakfast is free for kids under the age of 12 and only $4 for all others.  After breakfast you can visit community information booths, and participate in games.  Then at 10 am the egg hunts will begin and will be followed by raffle and prize give-a-ways.

DAY/DATE: Saturday, March 31, 2018;

LOCATION: Pasco Softball Sporting complex (next to TRAC and GESA Stadium);

FEE: Free! (Breakfast is $4 for ages 13+)

Kennewick:

This years egg hunt will be at the Gesa Carousel of Dreams. Join us for an Easter egg hunt, children’s activities, and carousel rides!
Hunt Times:
10:00am – Special Needs
10:30am – 0-2 years old
11am – 3-5 years old
11:30 – 6-8 years old

Richland:

Eggnite Richland!

Date: 03/24/2018 From 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Introduction: Join us at John Dam Plaza in Richland for Eggnite Richland! We will be celebrating Spring with a Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt! Free Pizza and Soda, bounce houses, crafts and more! 

West Richland:

Easter Egg Hunt

Date: March 31, 2018

Time: 10:00 AM1:00 PM PDT
Event Description:
Bring your kids to this free community Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31st at the Bombing Range Sports Complex in West Richland! Fun begins at 10am!

 

Here are a few more egg-stravaganzas. Click the link for details:

Gutters and Downspouts: A Consumer Guide

 

It’s Spring

Spring time is here, and it’s the perfect time to inspect, maintain, and clean out your gutters and downspouts.  It’s also a time when homeowners may want to have them installed if they don’t have any on their house.  All gutters come in either sectional or seamless constructions and most have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. You also have the option of having tops put on them to help keep debris from falling in and clogging them.

Maintenance

Check your gutters and downspouts for holes and cracks and look to see if there are any places where they are pulling away from the house.  Also, make sure to check the brackets as well. One sign that you may need to replace them is if you see any damage to your fascia boards or roof. Also check areas beneath them, such as a deck, for any water damage.

Choices to Make

When it comes to gutters and downspouts there are several choices you need to make.  They come in different shapes such as the K-Style and the Half Round. They also come in different materials including vinyl, copper, aluminum and steel.  Each has their advantages as well as disadvantages.  Pricing can vary anywhere from $1 per square foot up to $18.  Of course, this can vary with each company as well.

Self Installation or Professional Installation

Another decision you have to decide is if you want to install them yourself or hire a professional. In an article on BobVilla.com they caution, “Most do-it-yourself gutters are sold in 10-foot sections that must then be linked together with snap-in connectors. The drawback to sectional systems is that the joints eventually leak. Seamless gutters, on the other hand, have seams only at the corners. Seamless gutters are typically made of metal and are extruded to custom lengths by professional installers using a portable gutter machine.”  Then there is also the issue of safety. Have you seen how many Youtubes there are of people falling?  That is a risk when you are trying to install them yourself.  Make sure to take proper steps for your safety. If you are hiring a professional, make sure your professional has insurance for the job.

Info-graphic Pros & Cons

Here is a info-graphic with explanations of the pros and cons of some of the most common options:

gutters and downspouts 2gutters & downspouts 3

gutters & downspouts 4

As you can see, there are many choices to make when deciding on replacing or installing gutters and downspouts on your home.  We hope this has helped you in choosing the best material and styles for your project. As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.

 

Sources:This guide by Aerotech Gutter Service  , Bob Vila

www.EverStarRealty.com

www.EverStarPropertyManagement.com

509-735-4042

1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A

Kennewick, WA 99336

EverStar Takes Veterans VASH Vouchers

Upholding The Law

EverStar Realty accepts veterans VASH vouchers through our property management services. We work with veterans in finding housing.  We are careful to continually keep abreast of the current laws and regulations.  This has awarded us the AMO certification.  This certification is awarded for demonstrating the highest standards of professionalism, financial performance and ethics.  We are the only property management company in the region with this distinguished accreditation.

VASH

VASH stands for Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing.  This is a federal program for supporting veterans with disabilities. HUD.gov states, “The HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless Veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  VA provides these services for participating Veterans at VA medical centers (VAMCs) and community-based outreach clinics.”

Veterans interested in the program can contact their local Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VMAC) case manager.  The Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center is located at 825 Jadwin Ave., Ste. 250 in the Federal Building in Richland.  Their number is 509-946-1020.

The program serves veterans who need support services to maintain independent housing.  This includes homeless veterans with children, homeless veterans with disabilities, homeless women veterans, and homeless OIF/OEF veterans.

Qualifications

In order to qualify, the veteran must be eligible for VA health care.  They must currently be homeless.  They also need to meet income guidelines, and have an active role in participating with the case manager working towards specific goals.

Resources

HUD also has a list of resources for homeless individuals including shelter, assistance and housing, domestic violence, avoiding foreclosure, help with utility bills, food banks, and legal assistance among others.

Further Veteran and Homeless Resources:

Your CFL Lightbulbs Contain Mercury: Proper Clean Up & Disposal

 Does Your Light Bulb Contain Mercury?

Many people don’t realize that the light bulbs they use contain mercury. The increased demand for energy-efficient lighting over standard incandescent light bulbs led to a boom in CFL (compact fluorescent lights) sales.  While they are more energy efficient; they contain mercury which must be handled with extreme care when one of them breaks.  Mercury is a poison and if one is broken you must take steps to avoid toxic inhalation or contamination of your home. We have gathered the following information to help you with identifying what bulbs contain mercury, local disposal resources, and step by step proper and safe clean up in case one of your bulbs breaks. Carpeting requires special care so be sure to read that portion about NOT vacuuming and making sure to shut off the HVAC system.

A quick visit to the Home Depot website and a search for cfl light bulbs shows 272 results for CFL light bulbs.  As well as the CFL examples in the photo above, the following are bulbs that contain mercury:

  • Fluorescent bulbs:

o    Linear, U-tube and circline fluorescent tubes

o    Bug zappers

o    Tanning bulbs

o    Black lights

o    Germicidal bulbs

o    High output bulbs, and

o    Cold-cathode fluorescent bulbs.

  • High intensity discharge bulbs:

o    Metal halide

o    Ceramic metal halide

o    High pressure sodium, and mercury vapor.

  • Mercury short-arc bulbs; and
  • Neon bulbs.

Benton County

Benton County Solid Waste Website shows the dates of their Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Disposal Events here.  The next one is scheduled for April 7th and April 14th.  They also have a list of light bulb recycle locations (with addresses and phone numbers) that collect CFLs for no charge.  You can recycle up to ten lights per day.

Collection sites include:

Kennewick: Kennewick Ace Hardware and Sporting Goods

Kennewick: Batteries Plus Bulbs

Richland: Ace Hardware and Sporting Goods on Keene Road

Richland: Grigg’s Department Store Ace Hardware

Benton City:  Patnode’s True Value

Franklin County

If you are in Franklin County, their Hazardous Waste Department can be found here.  They have a list of what is classified as hazardous waste besides CFL light bulbs that may surprise you.  These include paint, wood stain, glues, cleaning agents, pesticides, gasoline, pool chemicals, and batteries.

Detailed Instructions On How To Clean Up Broken CFL Light Bulbs From The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gives a detailed explanation for what to do if a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) or fluorescent tube light bulb breaks in your home. Many people aren’t aware that CFL light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury.  When one of the fluorescent bulbs break, that mercury is released in the form of mercury vapor which shouldn’t be inhaled.  Pets and people should immediately leave the from for 5-10 minutes and shut off any central heating/air conditioning system.

They even have the information available to download and print on their website.  Here are their recommendations for your safety:

Before Cleanup

  • Have people and pets leave the room.
  • Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or door to the outdoor environment.
  • Shut off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system, if you have one.
  • Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb:

o    stiff paper or cardboard;

o    sticky tape;

o    damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes (for hard surfaces); and

o    a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealable plastic bag.

During Cleanup

  • DO NOT VACUUM.  Vacuuming is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken.  Vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor.
  • Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.  Scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard.  Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.  See the detailed cleanup instructions for more information, and for differences in cleaning up hard surfaces versus carpeting or rugs.
  • Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.

After Cleanup

  • Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
  • Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
  • If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

The following is their recommendations for hard surfaces such as wood flooring or tile:

Cleanup Steps for Hard Surfaces

  1. Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a glass jar with a metal lid. If a glass jar is not available, use a sealable plastic bag. (NOTE: Since a plastic bag will not prevent the mercury vapor from escaping, remove the plastic bag(s) from the home after cleanup.)
  2. Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.
  3. Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
  4. Vacuuming of hard surfaces during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. [NOTE: It is possible that vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor, although available information on this problem is limited.] If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:

o    Keep a window or door to the outdoors open;

o    Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken using the vacuum hose, if available; and

o    Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and seal the bag/vacuum debris, and any materials used to clean the vacuum, in a plastic bag.

  1. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
  2. Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.
  4. Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the HVAC system shut off, as practical, for several hours.

Cleanup Steps for Carpeting or Rugs

Carefully scoop up glass fragments and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place debris and paper/cardboard in a glass jar with a metal lid. If a glass jar is not available, use a sealable plastic bag. (NOTE: Since a plastic bag will not prevent the mercury vapor from escaping, remove the plastic bag(s) from the home after cleanup.)

  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder. Place the used tape in the glass jar or plastic bag.
  • Vacuuming of carpeting or rugs during cleanup is not recommended unless broken glass remains after all other cleanup steps have been taken. [NOTE: It is possible that vacuuming could spread mercury-containing powder or mercury vapor, although available information on this problem is limited.] If vacuuming is needed to ensure removal of all broken glass, keep the following tips in mind:

o    Keep a window or door to the outdoors open;

o    Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken using the vacuum hose, if available, and

o    Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and seal the bag/vacuum debris, and any materials used to clean the vacuum, in a plastic bag.

  • Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials, including vacuum cleaner bags, outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of.  Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.
  • Next, check with your local government about disposal requirements in your area, because some localities require fluorescent bulbs (broken or unbroken) be taken to a local recycling center. If there is no such requirement in your area, you can dispose of the materials with your household trash.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after disposing of the jars or plastic bags containing bulb debris and cleanup materials.
  • Continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the HVAC system shut off, as practical, for several hours.

Future Cleaning of Carpeting or Rugs: Air Out the Room During and After Vacuuming

  1. The next several times you vacuum the rug or carpet, shut off the HVAC system if you have one, close the doors to other rooms, and open a window or door to the outside before vacuuming. Change the vacuum bag after each use in this area.
  2. After vacuuming is completed, keep the HVAC system shut off and the window or door to the outside open, as practical, for several hours.

If you have further questions, please call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.

 

www.EverStarRealty.com

www.EverStarPropertyManagement.com

509-735-4042

1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A

Kennewick, WA 99336

Top Reasons People Believe They Can’t Purchase A Home Debunked

Do you think you can’t buy a home?  You might be surprised to find out you can!  Here are the top 6 reasons given for why people think they can’t buy a home….and the truth about them as cited on Realtor.com:

Reason No. 1: ‘I don’t have enough money for a down payment’

This is probably the most common justification for not making the leap into homeownership. After all, few people have a huge chunk of cash lying around—and you need 20% down to buy a home, right? Wrong.

“Needing a 20% down payment has lingered as a myth for years and causes many potential home buyers, including those in the millennial generation, to miss out on getting into a home,” says Christina Bartning with National MI, a private mortgage insurer in Emeryville, CA.

AJ Smith, a personal finance expert at SmartAsset, points out that with a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration or Department of Veterans Affairs, you can usually get by with a down payment of 3% to 5%.

In addition, “grants are an excellent way for young buyers with good credit and stable employment to subsidize their down payment,” says Realtor® Mike Murray of the Murray Home Team at Coldwell Banker in Annapolis, MD. “These can typically be obtained by taking homeownership courses or purchasing in designated community development areas.”

However, if you do put down less, keep in mind you’ll need private mortgage insurance until you pay down the loan to the 20% threshold.

Reason No. 2: ‘I can’t afford a mortgage payment’

“Some people don’t realize the amount they pay in rent is more than if they had a mortgage,” says Realtor Kenneth Cagan of the Cagan Team in Coral Springs, FL. “Landlords are trying to recoup their taxes, insurance, maintenance fees and still make a profit. When you buy, you’re investing in yourself.”

To find out if renting or buying makes more sense in your neighborhood, try realtor.com‘s Rent vs. Buy Calculator.

For first-time buyers with low to moderate incomes, organizations such as Neighborhood Housing Services of Richmond have plenty of experience in helping.

“Laniesha, a young mother of two, gave us every excuse in the book as to why she couldn’t purchase a home, from ‘I don’t make enough money’ to ‘I am not married,’” says Samuel Robinson, NHSR’s marketing and public relations officer. “After explaining that none of these issues could stop her, we worked with Laniesha to pay off her debts and raise her credit score. She’ll be purchasing her new home in 2016.”

Reason No. 3: ‘I don’t have good enough credit history to get a mortgage’

So you’ve made some late payments, or have other skeletons in your past that have dinged your credit score. That doesn’t put a mortgage out of reach.

“If you’ve paid down your credit cards and kept a steady job, your application may be approved,” says SmartAsset’s Smith. “Potential home buyers with bad credit can also explore options like lease-to-buy programs, financing through the seller, and loans from private lenders.”

Get this: Some private mortgage insurance programs allow for credit scores as low as 620, Smith says.

Meanwhile, you can slowly improve your credit score by paying your bills on time and keeping your balances and inquiries low, says Murray. A licensed loan officer should be able to set up a one-year outline to get your credit on track.

But there’s one substantial caveat: Typically, mortgages for people with a lower credit score do come with a higher mortgage rate. And a very low score may require a higher down payment.

Reason No. 4: ‘I don’t have any credit history at all’

Even without a credit card, there are ways to build credit history, says Anne Postic of Mortgages.com.

“If you’re a renter, ask your landlord about reporting your payments to establish a history. Experian makes it easy for your landlord to report your payments, or for you to do it yourself.”

Reason No. 5: ‘I haven’t been at my job long enough’

“Work history is important,” says Jeremy David Schachter with Pinnacle Capital Mortgage in Phoenix AZ. “But even if you recently changed jobs and have only been there for a month, you can get qualified depending on your income and field.” A letter from your boss or place of employment will go a long way, so be sure to ask if you fear your relatively brief employment history might be an issue.

Reason No. 6: ‘I can’t find a home I like in my price range’

“People often think they have to buy their last home first,” says Fort Myers, FL, Realtor Angeline Sackett. But making a dream home a reality takes time. After all, they call first homes “starters” for a reason, right?”

We hope that this article helps you realize that it is always a good idea to speak with a REALTOR and find out for sure whether or not you ARE able to purchase a home.  Don’t just assume you can’t.  As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.

Source:  REALTOR.com Article by Margaret Heidenry

www.EverStarRealty.com

www.EverStarPropertyManagement.com

509-735-4042

1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A

Kennewick, WA 99336

 

Program Your Thermostat Right For Different Seasons

 

Do you have a programmable thermostat?  If you do and you program it correctly you can save at least 10% on heating and cooling costs each year. You can do this by setting your thermostat 7-10 degrees lower for at least 8 hours a day.

According to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, almost 90% of home owners say that have never or rarely programmed their thermostat.  They aren’t sure how.

Type of Programmable Thermostats

There are four distinctive types of programmable thermostats:

1 Week Programmable:  You can set one heating/cooling plan that is repeated daily for the entire week.

5-1-1 Programmable:  You can set one heating/cooling schedule for the week, plus you can schedule a different heating/cooling plan for Saturday and Sunday.

5-2 Programmable:  Same as the 5-1-1 programmable, but Saturday and Sunday will have the same heating/cooling plan.

7 Day Programmable:  This one is the most flexible thermostat.  It allows a different heating/cooling schedule for each day of the week.

Most units have two type of hold features.  One is ‘hold/permanent/vacation’ and the other is ‘temporary.’  Avoid using the hold feature for day to day management.  The hold feature is best used for extended periods such as vacations.

Programming for Seasons

You will be setting a different program for the warmer months and the cooler month.  The Department of Energy recommends some general settings for energy-saving.  For the warmer months of summer they recommend setting your air conditioning to 78 degrees while you are home.  For days that you don’t need cooling they recommend manually shutting off the AC.   When you aren’t going to be home you can set it to be warmer.  You can tweak your temperature to what works for you.

For the cooler months of winter they recommend programming the temperature to 68 degrees when you’re home.  When you are going to be out of the home or when you’re asleep they recommend setting it for 10 degrees lower.  A furnace doesn’t have to work harder to warm a home when the temperature has been set to a lower temperature during the day.

General Tips

Some general programming tips include shutting down the heat or air conditioning 20-30 minutes prior to leaving.  Set your thermostat to turn back on 20-30 minutes before you will be getting home each day.  Lower the heating or cooling 60 minutes before you go to sleep and then set it to increase to the original temperature 30 minutes before you wake up.

Thermostat Tool

You can also use the Energy Star programmable thermostat tool.  It can help you understand which settings you need even if it doesn’t look exactly like your thermostat.

Thinking of Converting?

If you don’t currently have a programmable thermostat and are thinking about converting to you, make sure to check for compatibility with your current equipment. Make sure to check your thermostat to find out if it has mercury with the manufacturer.  Models made prior to 2001 may contain mercury.  If your thermostat is one that contains mercury there are different requirements.  It is considered a hazardous waste.  If you are in Benton County you can visit their website to find out when they are having the next hazardous waste event.  As of 2/15/2018 they have two scheduled for April 7th and April 14th.  The location is yet to be determined so you will have to check back to their website.  Franklin County has several locations.  You can contact them at 509-545-3514 to find the best location. Their website regarding hazardous waste can be found here.

If you want even more control you can purchase a wifi enabled thermostat which can create a custom schedule for you based on it’s motion detection technology.  It can also be controlled remotely from your phone.

And finally, if your thermostat is run on batteries, be sure to change them annually.

As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.

 

Sources:  Houselogic, Energy Star,  Benton County, Franklin County.

www.EverStarRealty.com

www.EverStarPropertyManagement.com

509-735-4042

1920 N. Pittsburgh St., Suite A

Kennewick, WA 99336

HIRST Decision Explained

Who Owns The Water

To use groundwater in Washington state you must obtain a permit first. State law says that all water belongs to the State unless owned by a Tribe. This permit needed is called a “water right” and must be obtained from the Department of Ecology. Permit exempt wells are an exception. This exemption is for wells that are for supplying water to rural homes or businesses.

Hirst Decision

The Hirst decision from Oct. 2016 ruled that small withdrawals of groundwater added up and deprived rivers of water for fish, wildlife and scenery. The ruling meant prospective homeowners may have had to finance expensive studies to prove their wells wouldn’t harm existing water rights. (1) The Hirst decision changed how counties were required to approve building permits that used exempt wells for their water. Counties suddenly had to determine if a new home connecting to a well would harm instream flows for fish. This created a hardship for many local governments in trying to comply with the law. Permits were refused or restricted for new construction when wells were necessary.

SB6091

In January the Governor signed SB6091 which reversed the HIRST decision. Under SB 6091, local governments are no longer required to review new private wells for “impairment” of other water rights or state instream flows.  In addition, the new law clarifies that local governments may rely on or refer to Department of Ecology’s water resource regulations in order to comply with the Growth Management Act. (2)

Benton and Franklin County WRIA’s

Benton County includes three WRIA’s (Water Resource Inventory Area): Lower Yakima, Rock-Glade, and Esquatzel Coulee WRIA’s. Franklin County includes WRIA’s Esquatzel Coulee and Lower Snake.

The Yakima WRIA falls under the category of, “Other Requirements Apply ((ESSB 6091 – Sections 101(e) and 101(f)).” There are no new regulations and they are exempt from the bill.

All other WRIA’s in Benton and Franklin Counties fall under the category, “No Instream Flow Rule (ESSB 6091 – Section 101(g))” required. There are no new regulations or restrictions and they can use the currently law that allows up to 5,000gpd.

Department of Ecology Summary and Map

The Department of Ecology recently issued a summary of statewide water availability requirements in light of the new bill. This map shows the county boundaries as well as the water resource inventory areas.

Results of the new bill:

  • It allows rural residents to have permit-exempt wells to access water to build a home.
  • Well construction and new building permits have no new metering requirements and no new mitigation required.
  • There is a one-time fee of $500 for permit-exempt wells for landowners building a home.
  • Existing wells are grandfathered and are deemed to have satisfied the requirement.
  • For purposes of meeting the requirements of the Growth Management Act the bill allows local governments to rely on the existing Department of Ecology rules.
  • It invests $300 million over the next 15 years in projects that will help fish and stream flows.
  •  Individuals who need assistance should seek legal counsel or review by a qualified consultant.

Local County Contacts

Benton County:

Trevor Hutton
trevor.hutton@ecy.wa.gov
509-454-4240

Franklin County:

Keith Stoffel
keith.stoffel@ecy.wa.gov
509-329-3464

Further questions on the Hirst Decision can be emailed to Bill Clarke, Director of Public Policy
Washington REALTORS®.

Public Resources:

Full Reading of Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6091

County Map with Water Resource Inventory Area’s

Washington Water Policy break down of exempt well allowances

Dept of Ecology summary of the Hirst Decision Fix including a pdf map of where the new law applies

Dept of Ecology summary of the Hirst Decision as well as contact information by county

As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.

Sources:

(1) http://www.capitalpress.com/Washington/20161202/battle-lines-drawn-in-washington-over-new-wells

(2) https://www.warealtor.org/resources/media/news-articles/2018/01/29/broker-alert-hirst-water-supply-legislation-passes

https://www.warealtor.org/government/hirst-decision-update

http://www.nwrealtor.com/2018/02/07/the-hirst-fix-important-resources-for-your-clients/

https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Water-supply/Water-rights/Case-law/Hirst-decision

https://ecology.wa.gov/Water-Shorelines/Water-supply/Streamflow-restoration

https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/wrx/wrx/fsvr/ecylcyfsvrxfile/WaterRights/wrwebpdf/essb6091-dpew-map.pdf

https://naiads.blog/category/land-use/

https://www.warealtor.org/resources/media/news-articles/2018/01/19/good-news-on-hirst

Consumer Alert Illegal Wage Garnishment In Washington State

This is a message that was received from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions For Consumers and Employers that we would like to share for your information.

Apex Servicing – Unlicensed Debt Collection

01/29/2018 03:19 PM PST

Monday, January 29, 2018

Alert Number: CA048341_1/17/18(1/19)

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) received information that an entity using the name Apex Servicing sent a fax to an employer in Washington attempting to garnish wages from an employee’s paycheck for an alleged loan owed to Inbox Loan.

The employer reported receiving a fax labeled as “Wage Assignment Demand Notice.” The fax alleged that the employee had signed a Wage Assignment and authorized Kashia d/b/a Inbox Loan to collect wages from the employer to repay the loan. The information received by the employer indicated that Apex Servicing was collecting on the wage assignment on behalf of Kashia d/b/a Inbox Loan. The demand instructed the employer to deduct 15% of the employee’s disposable pay and mail a check to the following address:

Kashia d/b/a Inbox Loan
PO Box 637
Blanding, UT 84511

The employer reported the following additional contact information was associated with the demand notice:

DFI warns Washington consumers:

  • Apex Servicing is not licensed as a collection agency by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Apex Servicing is not registered to conduct business in Washington State by the DFI, the Department of Revenue, or the Secretary of State.
  • Inbox Loan is not licensed by the Department to conduct business in Washington State. The Department previously issued a Consumer Alert about Inbox Loan, a company asserting to be owned by the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian Tribe.

DFI warns Washington consumers that before doing business with a financial service provider or collection agency the consumer should:

  • Make sure that the entity is licensed.
    • Consumers can use the “Verify a License” feature on DFI’s website at www.dfi.wa.gov to check whether a payday or consumer loan company is licensed to conduct business in the state of Washington.
    • Consumers can use the Search business and professional license feature on the Department of Licensing’s website to verify if a collection agency is licensed in Washington.

Consumers are urged to verify license status prior to giving the financial institution, company, or individual any nonpublic personal information, such as social security number or bank account number or access.

Debt Collection Laws

Collection activities by third parties are subject to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Consumers should request a written validation notice from a person attempting to collect a debt allegedly owed to a third party. The validation notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and the rights that a consumer has under FDCPA. Consumers should never make payments over the phone to a third party debt collector that refuses to provide a written validation notice. If you have questions regarding debt collection laws please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC HELP or online at www.ftc.gov.

Important Information For Washington State Consumers

Washington State residents are informed that Washington State law provides in RCW 31.45.105(1)(d) and (3) that a “small loan” made by an unlicensed entity to a person physically located in Washington State is uncollectible and unenforceable in Washington State. A “small loan” is defined in RCW 31.45.073 and is a loan that does not exceed $700.

Washington State residents with loans exceeding $700 are informed that Washington State law provides in RCW 31.04.035 that fees or interest charged in the making of a nonresidential loan by an unlicensed lender must be refunded to the borrower.

If you live in another state, find the regulator in your home state.

Report Unlicensed Lending Activity or Fraud

Washington State residents only: If you suspect unlicensed activity by a payday lender or consumer loan company, please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov. Even if your activity involves a loan over the internet, a license may still be required.

All consumers, if you feel you have been the victim of a scam you might also wish to contact the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov.

If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet you can contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.

This is a message that was received from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.

Posted by: everstar on February 1, 2018

Posted in: Uncategorized

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