Ruston’s doing its job; Point Ruston must, too

Re: “‘Attitude of yes’ needed for Point Ruston progress” (editorial, 5-15).

Your claims that the City of Ruston is “unfamiliar with permitting a development on the scale of Point Ruston” and “has slowed the progress on their side to a standstill” and that the city has not allowed any flexibility within the Point Ruston master plan are entirely incorrect. The city has been working steadily with Point Ruston to facilitate this development and complete all open permits.

No applications currently are pending in the City of Ruston for this project because all have been processed and completed. Not all have been issued, however, only because Point Ruston refuses to pick up and pay the fees for the final permits for the parking garage and Yacht Club Road. Instead, Point Ruston continues to build the parking garage without a permit, without proper oversight and in violation of a stop-work order.

The question the newspaper should be asking is why Point Ruston is not complying with the International Building Code nor with the Environmental Protection Agency requirements by picking up the permits. Without a valid permit, the work cannot be overseen by the city’s building official because there is no “official set of plans” that everyone is working from.

The Ruston building official has observed some serious defects in Point Ruston’s work, which was mentioned in the front-page article of May 10. Installing 20 percent less rebar than is needed for structural stability and safety in an underground parking garage is one such instance and is a significant public concern.

There are other concerns, but this alone demonstrates the very reason that the International Building Code and the City of Ruston (like all cities in Washington) require permits prior to construction and require inspections and oversight during construction.

The City of Ruston has been working diligently to make this project a success and has been collaborating with other stakeholders, including Tacoma, Metro Parks, EPA, the state Department of Ecology, Tacoma Power and other stakeholders.

We are continuing to work to strengthen our relationships with our partner stakeholders, including Point Ruston. But Point Ruston must do its part by paying for and picking up the permits and working with the city towards a successful project.

Bruce Hopkins is the mayor of Ruston.