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This writer raised several interesting questions about the City of Yelm aquifer study on June 26th of this year, followed by a front page story on this issue in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) that said, “Critics say the city is using public money to finance private development, particularly Thurston Highlands, where 5,000 homes are planned.”

Now, the NVN states in the December 15th edition in the front page story about the City of Yelm passing a 2007 budget:
“Also on Tuesday [Dec. 12], City Administrator Shelly Badger requested an additional $16,000 for an ongoing
aquifer study project in Yelm.
The study is designed to address water rights and usage in the coming years.
Cost has totaled $550,003 so far, with Golder & Associates receiving an initial $378,443 in April, 2005 to conduct the study.
Earlier this year, the council approved an additional $155,560 to move the study forward.
Isom expressed concern that the council was getting itself into a cycle that would force it to continue to sink money into the project.
“Hopefully we can move on to a different chapter in the water rights story,” she said. ”

I rasied these questions on this blog on June 26th:

The Yelm City Council has publicly stated on several occasions that
private, for-profit developments are going to be mitigated only with private money.
What does this means to us, the citizens?
This means the city will not allow use of public monies to support private developers’ responsibilities
in creating their own private businesses.

Here is the Fact:
On June 14, 2006, the Yelm City Council approved public money in a $155,000 payment to Golder Associates for the SW Yelm Aquifer Study Project to examine water issues as they relate to the proposed, privately owned Thurston Highlands site.

In approving the aquifer study, did the City Council favor
the proposed Thurston Highlands private development by using public monies?

If the answer is YES, then would you say the city’s stand that
“private for-profit developments being mitigated only with private money” is jeopardized by this action?

If that is the case, then is the City Council starting off “on the wrong foot” in keeping private and public issues
separate about Thurston Highlands and other developments?

Bottom Line:
Public taxpayer monies are being used to support a private-development’s Environment Impact Statement (EIS) via this Aquifer Study. What do you think about that? Please leave your comments…

Now, MORE money is being requested for this study.
What say YOU?

Posted by Steve on December 18, 2006 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

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