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The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) reports in today’s editions that in Mayor Ron Harding’s State of the City Address last Tuesday, “The City is weathering the downturn in the economy and doing well…
In order to maintain its current level of service , the city will have to tap into its reserves…
If the economy continues to decline, cuts may have to be made…”

NVN publisher/editor Keven Graves said in his editorial printed today about Harding’s Address,
“Seemingly addressing Yelm’s anti-growth contingent, Harding explained that it’s the growth that Yelm experienced in recent years that has helped to keep the city in the black.”
[Ed. Note: Mr. Graves, growth has stopped in its tracks not only from the economy, rather from Yelm’s limits on how much water can be pumped to support new homes. The Dept. of Ecology says Yelm pumped 756 acre feet per year (acy) of its allocated 796.66 acy in 2008. An acre-foot is about 325,000 gallons which, for the City of Yelm, is about enough water to serve 3.5 homes for a year, according to the Dept. of Ecology. Doing the basic math then, the City would be over their limit with the current water rights they hold
withdrawing an additional 40 acre-feet (796.66-756 = 40.66 underage).
That 40 acre-feet X 3.5 homes per acre-foot = 140 homes.
Yelm has many development permits already in the works & approved that have not yet been hooked-up to Yelm’s water supply. My guess is that the 140 home limit is nearly or already reached when those homes are hooked-up. Of course Mayor Harding and the city are seeking additional water rights transfers to the city.
Bottom line: If the economy hasn’t stopped growth here, the limits of water allocations has put Yelm about near the end of available water to continue this growth binge that has burdened our traffic, water availability, groundwater, air and land resources.]

The Olympian is reporting a huge blow to Yelm’s economy:
“Lasco Bathware plant manager Bill Kysor said Wednesday that an additional 20 people directly involved in manufacturing will leave the business at the end of the month.

That means Lasco has shed 35 jobs since January, including some salaried and office staff members, Kysor said. The plant now has fewer than 100 employees, down from 160 to 170 when Kysor started 18 months ago…

The plant workers made an average of $15 an hour, and the company gave them notice so that they could use up sick leave before they leave, he said.

Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Cecelia Jenkins said Lasco is a longtime business and active chamber member. It also is one of the community’s largest employers, joining the new Wal-Mart store and retailers such as Safeway. The largest employer in the area is the Yelm School District, she said.

There is no other company in the area similar to Lasco to hire laid-off workers, Jenkins said.”

This is devastating news to our Lasco friends and neighbors, that almost 40% of the workforce of one of Yelm’s largest employers have lost their jobs. This is less occupational tax, income tax & sales tax for the City, plus the social impact on our town’s fabric with those families impacted by their job cuts.

Posted by Steve on February 13, 2009 at 8:08 am | Permalink

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