Several stories in recent days have echoed what this writer has been saying for months:
THE GROWTH IN YELM IS UNSUSTAINABLE AND THE CITY SHOULD BRACE FOR BUDGET AND/OR SERVICES CUTS SOON, AS FUEL PRICES CAUSE PEOPLE TO LOOK ELSEWHERE TO LIVE!
“High Gas Prices Threaten to Drain Small Towns’ Populations”
From The Kansas City Star
[Ed. Note: While Yelm is not likely to be drained of population, this story is instructive for the future.]
“Cities, states begin to feel economic downturn
Drop in property, income, sales taxes will start to show up in fewer services”
“State and local governments were flush with tax revenue during the five-year housing boom. They pulled from bulging pools of property, income, and sales tax to expand education, law enforcement, health care, and infrastructure programs without needing to burden residents and corporations with tax hikes.
Those days are over. Home prices are falling, and foreclosures, gas prices, unemployment, and inflation are on the rise.”
From Business Week
“Driving Down Real Estate
Will higher commuting costs kill the suburbs?”
[Ed. Note: This story demonstrates how commutes of 20 miles to Olympia from Yelm each way, 30 miles to Tacoma, 40 miles each way to Federal Way and 50 miles to Sea-Tac are in jeopardy, as this Boston area story demonstrates.]
With bus ridership up as Yelm area commuters leave cars at home, another issue surfaces:
“Shortly after the grand opening of Saars Market Place, the Nisqually Plaza owner decided it was time to crack down on illegal parking in the lots she leases out…
‘Were not going to tolerate any more of the illegal parking. Its unfortunate that the bus stop is right there and people take advantage of the situation.’…
Most of the illegal parking stems from people who catch an Intercity Transit bus to commute to work, or meet a van pool,” quoting the Nisqually Valley News.
Washington State Budget Deficit Grows [to $2.7 billion]
From Sound Politics
Thurston County reports $4 million shortfall: commissioners request cuts in services
From the Yelm Community Blog on June 12
While The Olympian reported July 3rd,
“Yelm continues to be the county’s fastest-growing city, its population increasing 6.2 percent in the year-over-year period,” that would be foolish for anyone to think this will continue.
We only continue to hear from Mayor Harding that all is well in Yelm, and spending here continues fast apace, as reported here on June 27. The city has been spending alot of money from reserve funds, not wise in a downturn. City’s should conserve in an economic pullback, just like you and I.
All of these stories may add up to keep Thurston Highlands from moving forward and stop additional phases of Tahoma Terra in their tracks! In this economic environment, banks will not have the stomach for home loans in housing developments far from urban areas, what with $4 + a gallon gasoline. What many of us could not do to slow growth here to more reasonable and manageable annual percentage increases, perhaps the high cost of fuel will!
PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAPS AND CONNECT THE DOTS-
DOESN’T THIS ALL MEAN WE DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES OR FUNDING TO BE DOING SO MANY THINGS THIS CITY IS UNDERTAKING?
WHAT SAY YOU?
WRITE, CALL AND ASK YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS WHERE THIS TOWN STANDS IN BUDGETING AND TO TELL US THE TRUTH, BEFORE WE HEAR OF CUTS, LIKE WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE COUNTY.
from The Olympian Sunday, July 6:
“Thurston County home sales are down, building activity has tapered off and more people have fallen behind on mortgage payments, according to newly compiled data for the first half of the year…
The data raise new questions about the vitality of the county’s real-estate market…
New-home construction in the county also has tapered off because of the slower pace of home sales…
Permit numbers also fell in Olympia, Tumwater, Yelm and unincorporated areas of the county, data show…
Through the first six months of this year, Thurston County home sales have fallen more than 20 percent compared with the same period last year, from 2,068 units to 1,579.”