City Council Candidates Jen Littlefield & Tracey Wood shared their views on the water issues in a front page NVN story out yesterday, however their answers demonstrated they both have alot to learn on the City of Yelm’s water issues, and whoever wins will have to get up-to-speed on this issue quickly!
Mrs. Littlefield spoke of acquiring water rights as a major issue and while true, the county Commissioners received a staff briefing on Tuesday, September 29th on Yelm’s water and were told by Ecology that Yelm may not even be up for consideration for more water rights until next year or 2011. Littlefield added she thinks “the city has an opportunity to build positive public support for many of the issues regarding water if they reach out more often…”
As reported here August 28th:
Ecology REVERSED the decision of the Thurston County Conservancy Board on July 20, 2009 and specified exactly why they took that action in a letter to Mrs. Badger where they state,
“The board (conservancy board) failed to adequately analyze the extent and validity of the subject water right [the McMonigle water right].”
So, the McMonigle water right may not be a transferable right and may not be valid.
CLICK HERE to see Ecology’s letter in full.
The Dept. of Ecology takes years to approve water rights applications and with McMonigle out of the picture, Yelm will not likely be considered for any more water rights anytime soon, so the city had better get used to living within their water allocation!
The City needs to come clean and tell the public the truth about their Draft Water System Plan and why the rates have being increased by such a large amount!
Will that happen?
Mrs. Littlefield clearly did not address what Mayor Harding has described as a water rate increase to support infrastructure — infrastructure that the city’s Draft Water System Plan says is to move the wells to the SW area (Thurston Highlands) over a mile from the city on land in which the developers have defaulted. To support this infrastructure was the major cause of a 69% rate increase.
Council Candidate Tracey Wood says about the water rates “is not that the water rate has gone up, it’s how much the water rate has gone up all at once.”
Quoting the NVN, “While Wood sees the magnitude of the change as a problem, Littlefield thinks it’s the timing.”
If they read the city’s Draft Water System Plan, they would see it is neither — the rate increase is clearly to support infrastructure expenses associated with an multi-planned community and moving the city’s wells, in addition to taking over the costs of the golf course well from a defaulted developer.
Then there is a Letter to the Editor from Deanna Davis who voiced her water concerns at the Yelm Council Meeting last week and gave Mayor Harding kudos for coming over her house and checking things out personally. While that is nice, Ms. Davis never said if the Mayor ever answered her questions to the Council, as reported here September 25th. HMMM!
To quote Yelm citizen Frank Jones at the September 22nd Yelm City Council Meeting to the Mayor & City Council,
“If this IS only a Draft (Water System Plan), and not finalized yet, why is there a rate increase?”