KING-5 NEWS IN SEATTLE REPORTED ABOUT YELM’S GROWTH ON THEIR BROADCAST LAST NIGHT!
“Amid all the bad news about the economy, one Western Washington town is bucking the trend.
It’s the city of Yelm. Since 2003, the Thurston County community has grown by about 35 percent. It is one of the few bright spots in the state’s economy…
Yelm is the only Thurston County city to see an increase in retail sales, according to the most recent figures.
So what does Yelm have that Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater don’t?
One contributing factor could be growth. Since 1995, Yelm’s population has doubled. The city is a half hour off Interstate 5 and right next to Fort Lewis.
‘Our location is ripe for development,’ city administrator Shelly Badger said. ‘We have available land in our community, and commercial land.’
But the “buy-local” mentality gets some credit too.
The city hasn’t been immune to the nation’s economic problems, and city leaders fear for the first time in five years, 2009 will be flat for growth.
But folks say they will continue to adapt and survive.
The economy’s not the only thing folks in Yelm are proud of. The daughter of Yelm’s mayor is representing the state of Washington at this weekend’s Miss America pageant.”
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT!
Here is what the report failed to mention:
1. “Since 2003, the Thurston County community has grown by about 35 percent. It is one of the few bright spots in the state’s economy…”
YES, AND AT WHAT COST?
HAS ANYONE NOTICED INCREASED TRAFFIC, THE STRAIN ON WATER RESOURCES, MANY AVOIDING SHOPPING IN YELM DUE TO THE BACK-UPS, ADDED AIR/WATER POLLUTION (NOT THE FIRST ‘BOIL-WATER’ ORDER ISSUED FOR A YELM AREA STREET IN THE LAST YEAR) AND NOW A REPORT IN THE NVN THIS WEEK ABOUT A 6% INCREASE IN CRIME?
2. “Yelm is the only Thurston County city to see an increase in retail sales, according to the most recent figures.”
WHILE TRUE, 2008 SALES FIGURES OF COURSE, WOULD SHOW A MAJOR INCREASE, SINCE 2008 HAD A NEW SUPER WAL-MART OPERATING FOR 12 FULL MONTHS, COMPARED TO ONLY 5 1/2 MONTHS OF OPERATION AFTER ITS GRAND OPENING IN 2007. FULL 2008 SALES FIGURES ARE NOT AVAILABLE AS OF YET. THIRD QUARTER NUMBERS RECENTLY RELEASED SHOWED SALES GROWTH IN YELM, HOWEVER WE HAD A WAL-MART OPEN FOR THE FULL QUARTER IN 2008, AND ONLY A PARTIAL 3RD QUARTER IN 2007.
WAL-MART WAS ONLY APPROVED WITH A BYPASS BEING BUILT WITHIN 7 YEARS OF THEIR OPENING TO MITIGATE THEIR TRAFFIC. THERE WILL BE NO BYPASS FUNDING FOR THE EASTERN SECTION OF THE BYPASS TO WAL-MART FOR YEARS, IF NOT ANOTHER DECADE.
3. “‘Our location is ripe for development,’ city administrator Shelly Badger said. ‘We have available land in our community, and commercial land.'”
NOT SO FAST MRS. BADGER! WHILE YOU MAY SAY WE HAVE PLENTY OF AVAILABLE LAND, WHAT THE CITY OF YELM DOES NOT HAVE IS AVAILABLE WATER. THE CITY HAS A COURT ORDER TO NOT ISSUE ANY FURTHER PERMITS IN 5 DEVELOPMENTS DUE TO LACK OF AVAILABLE WATER. ACCORDING TO THE STATE DEPT. OF ECOLOGY WHO GRANTS AND ENFORCES MUNICIPAL WATER RIGHTS, THEY ARE “WORKING WITH THE CITY RELATIVE TO SOURCE WATER METERING AND SUBMITTAL OF THEIR 2008 DATA.
WE ANTICIPATE THE CITY WILL SUBMIT THEIR 2008 BY THE END OF THIS MONTH.”
I WROTE TO THE WASHINGTON STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL & DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY REQUESTING
INFORMATION ON ENFORCEMENT OF YELM’S WATER RIGHTS. ONCE YELM SUBMITS THEIR 2008 DATA LATER THIS MONTH, THERE WILL BE AN AGREED-BASELINE FOR ENFORCEMENT.
“I would find an interesting data point to know how many more houses/businesses could be built before the current water right limit is reached in Yelm, given that they are full-speed ahead in approving permits?”
THAT WILL BE AN INTERESTING ANSWER.
THEN WE HAVE THIS WEEK’S PIERCE COUNTY BUSINESS EXAMINER LAUDING THE CONTINUED THURSTON HIGHLANDS DEVELOPMENT & AVOIDING THE WATER CONSTRAINT ISSUE:
“Yelms first planned community inches forward”
The Olympian reported Yelm modest growth in Yelm’s third quarter “data for taxable retail sales… at 5.35%”
and “taxable retail sales known as retail trade, which excludes sales generated by construction and is considered a better measure of consumer purchases….at 9.58%.”
WOULDN’T ONE EXPECT SOME KIND OF GROWTH, SINCE A NEW YELM WAL-MART WAS ONLY OPEN FOR PART OF THE 3RD QUARTER IN 2007 VS. THE FULL 3RD QUARTER OF 2008? TO PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE, WAL-MART WAS OPEN 17% MORE DAYS IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2008 VS. THE 3RD QUARTER OF 2007! DOES THIS EQUATE TO NET NEGATIVE SALES GROWTH THEN? YOU DECIDE.
STAY TUNED FOR MORE:
MAYOR HARDING’S STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS IS FEB. 10TH AND THERE WILL BE ALOT OF DESERVED ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT SEVERAL CITY ROAD PROJECTS. I HAVE WRITTEN TO THE WSDOT SR 510 PROJECT MANAGER FOR COMMENTS TO SEVERAL INCONSISTENCIES REPORTED AT THE CITY COUNCIL ABOUT THE YELM BYPASS – HOPEFULLY YOU WILL HAVE THE RESULT OF THOSE QUESTIONS BY FEB. 10TH.
WE’LL ALSO KNOW FEB. 4TH ABOUT THE VOTERS’ DESIRE TO FUND A LIBRARY LEVY LIFT.
Expect little or nothing to be said about all of Yelm’s business closings in the last year, the one’s barely holding on and the water limitations. And, no one has mentioned the doubling of families requesting assistance for donated Christmas Dinners in 2008 vs. 2007 at U. C. B. O. in Yelm!
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THIS STORY?
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I wrote to KING-5, the Business Examiner & The Olympian and told them all they have missed the point about Yelm’s growth and looked at skewed numbers comparing 3rd quarter 2007 vs. 2008. My comment is the one at the bottom of the KING-5 story.
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