Mayor Ron Harding will be giving the keynote talk at the Yelm Chamber of Commerce breakfast Tuesday, June 10, 9am at Nisqually Moose Lodge about the city’s water rate hike.
While I applaud the Mayor for addressing this issue in a public forum, I must say that in all the cities in which I have lived, I have never witnessed a local Chamber of Commerce having their mayor as the keynote speaker more than twice in a calendar year – and this is the third time in five months Mayor Harding has addressed Yelm’s Chamber. Sure wish there would be an open-public forum so that ALL Yelm area citizens can hear the mayor speak, and answer questions from the public-at-large on important topics.
On May 23, 2008, the Nisqually Valley News published a letter from RSE General Manager & JZ Knight’s partner James Flick about Yelm’s water rate hike. While acknowledging the mayor for his tips on community conservation efforts, Mr. Flick stated,
“Yelm’s water problem does not lie with its people it lies with the local government. The city’s policy of “you can’t stop growth” is coming home to roost”.
Mr Flick continued, “Yelm exceeded its own water rights in 2006 and 2007 and the first three “winter” months of 2008. From January 2007 through March 2007, the city used about 5.88 million cubic feet. From January through March 2008, the city used about 6.40 million cubic feet of water.
This represents an increase of 526,900 cubic feet for the first three months of 2008, an increase of approximately 9 percent just this year.
The situation will be further exacerbated by the water demand resulting from significant development that was approved by the City of Yelm. It will bring 1,000 residential units, most of which are not connected to the city’s water system [until built].
…The City of Yelm’s over-allocation of water to serve new development is a lack of good stewardship of our vital and crucial resource that will continue to burden not only the local populace but the environment as well.”
Mr. Flick brings up some good points. Hopefully, the Court will require the City of Yelm and Washington State Dept. of Ecology to bring out their differences on Yelm’s water issue as a result of Ms. Knight taking this issue to Superior Court. The WA. State DOE should enforce Yelm to comply with the correct water allocation numbers.
Interesting, with the water rate hike in Summer on the backs of local property owners because of Yelm maxing out its water supply, that the City Council approved over $300,000 to build a reclaimed water irrigation line to Longmire Park to insure the ball fields remain green through Summer. On March 11, 2008, Yelm’s City Council authorized $40,649.70 be spent for the first phase of this project; engineering services for the design of the line.
What does this mean to you, the Yelm property owner?
The city will have green ball fields while you will pay through the roof to water your yard and plants, so Yelm yards will go brown in Summers from here on out. This city is using today’s property owners to amortize the area’s finite water resources so they can keep approving more home construction. If you own property in Yelm, basically you are being taxed for water to restrict your usage, so the city can take the water use reduction and approve more new construction. HMMM!
MR. FLICK URGED THE COMMUNITY TO GET INVOLVED ON THIS ISSUE.
WHERE ARE THE CITIZEN’S VOICES ABOUT THIS!