March 13, 2010

YELM’S TAHOMA TERRA UNFINISHED PHASES HEAD TO AUCTION

A foreclosure sale is scheduled April 9 for the unfinished phases of the Tahoma Terra master planned community in Yelm.

Tahoma Terra encompasses 220 acres and was envisioned to contain as many as 1,200 housing units. Two of the nine phases envisioned under the original master plan are completed, developer Doug Bloom said.

He said 120 acres is subject to the foreclosure action.

The lender, HomeStreet Bank, began foreclosure proceedings in December after principal balance on an eight-figure loan went unpaid. HomeStreet said it was owed $16.1 million, including interest and legal fees, according to the notice of trustees sale.

Bloom said the loan paid for the work on the project up to that point. He said he was unable to extend the line of credit, and a homebuilder that had an option to develop the lots withdrew its offer.

‘Its tough economic times for everybody, and were trying to work through it,’ said Bloom, who partnered with another developer, Steve Chamberlain, on the project.

Bloom said he is working with the bank to see if theres a way to hold on to the property….

On Thursday , a judge will hear arguments in a bankruptcy case involving Thurston Highlands, a 1,250-acre property in Yelm. Chamberlain wants to hold on to the property through bankruptcy reorganization while his partner, Dr. Paul Liao, seeks to gain control of it by moving forward with foreclosure.

Both Thurston Highlands and Tahoma Terra were annexed into the city in 1993, according to a staff report. Tahoma Terra is located north of the larger property,” quoting The Olympian.

Thurston Highlands’ default was first made public on the Yelm Community Blog May 7,2009

As reported here in 2008,
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham issued a Letter of Opinion on October 7, 2008 and then a final ruling in favor of the case where:
“JZ Knight challenges City of Yelms approval of five proposed subdivisions” [Tahoma Terra Phase II, Divisions 5 & 6; Windshadow I; Windshadow II; Wyndstone; and Berry Valley I].
“Knight files Land Use Petition in Superior Court of Washington citing lack of available water resources to meet current & existing demand.”

The City of Yelm filed an appeal in this case & that decision is expected in 2010.

Ed. Note:
While no one wants to see someone forced into foreclosure & bankruptcy, Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands developers Doug Bloom & Steve Chamberlain were either naive, ignorant or felt so connected with Yelm’s City Hall that the city would bend the rules and allow them permits without bringing sufficient water with their development applications. That Bloom & Chamberlain moved forward on the word of the mayor, city administrator, city planners, hearing examiners & Yelm’s City Council, yet were being told by area citizens their developments were not following established state regulations because the city did not have sufficient water rights to support their applications, was daring, at best. The economic downturn and the Thurston County Superior Court case decision against Tahoma Terra all happened within months of each other in late summer & early fall, 2008, forcing Bloom & Chamberlain into default & leaving the city holding the bag in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fees, taxes and an undeveloped golf course well.
This is all very sad.
Nonetheless, I wish Bloom & Chamberlain well in their next adventures.
Their dreams to build and develop this pristine, rural place brought many issues to the forefront for the public to see things as they really are in the City of Yelm. That has been a wonderful eye-opener!

What happens to the land now?
The City of Yelm has over-pumped their 2009 water allocation and has no further water rights to support any more water hook-ups. The city & DOE are in negotiations right now on the city’s actual water rights allocation, which when settled, will require the city to stay within. Look for major water conservation efforts for city residents, since the city continued to issue building permits thinking they had sufficient water when they were being told by a whole host of sources they did not have the water to continue doing so.
Who is going to want the Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands land when the city cannot provide water there?

With Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands out of the picture, why is water infrastructure for a major multi-planned community STILL in the Draft Water System Plan, which is still unapproved by Depts. of Health & Ecology?

And, why are city residents going to take another 16% hit with a water rate increase April 1st [as reported in the NVN], when the Draft Water System Plan initiating these increase has NOT been approved, as I said in the NVN this week?

And how is the water rate-payer going to get reimbursed for a water study and their payments for supporting these developments? THEY WON’T!

These are all questions that need to be asked of the City of Yelm – and unfortunately, won’t be, unless perhaps a Yelm business is forced to close because of the water rate increases.
Certainly, the silence coming from our own Chamber of Commerce businesses on the water rate increases is amazing. I have never lived anywhere where Chamber of Commerce members have been so quiet on an issue that looms so large on their balance sheets.


March 12, 2010

2nd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT DEMOCRATS 2010 CAUCUS


Lackamas PCO Victoria Harper-Parsonson, Governor Gregoire, 2nd District Democrats Chair Jackie Reid & Weir Prairie/Rainier PCO JeanMarie Christenson.
Photo courtesy of Washington State Democrats

The 2nd Legislative District Democrats announce their 2010 Caucus

When:
Sunday, March 14, 2010, 1:00 pm

Where:
Yelm High School
1315 Yelm Ave.
Yelm, WA.

Why:
To elect delegates to the Washington Democrats State Convention in Vancouver, Saturday, June 26th. Delegates to the convention will participate in passing a state platform, debating and voting on resolutions regarding state Democratic positions on public policy issues, and nominating candidates.

Who is eligible to participate in selecting delegates and be a delegate:
Any resident, registered voter in the 2nd Legislative District who will sign a statement that she/he is a Democrat and agrees to public display of his/her attendance at the meeting.

Yelm’s Jackie Jo Reid is 2nd LD Democrat Chair
For more information, contact Ms. Reid: jrreid@ywave.com


March 11, 2010

THE RAINIER PLAYERS PRESENT A MUSICAL COMEDY!

The Rainier Players present A Musical Comedy
LUCKY $TIFF

Music by Stephen Flaherty Book & Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on “The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo” By Michael Butterworth
First Produced by Playwrights Horizons, Inc. Off-Broadway in 1988

Mar 18th, 19th @ 7pm & Mar 20th @ 1 & 7pm
Reservations (360) 446-2205
Tickets $5
Rainier High School
308 2nd Avenue West
Rainier, WA98576

Lucky Stiff is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
421 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
www.MTIShows.com

Lucky Stiff is based on the novel “The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo”
by Michael Butterworth, is a classic musical farce, complete with slamming doors, mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds, and a corpse in a wheelchair. The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently-murdered Atlantic City uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing Uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit $6,000,000. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn, or else to the gun-toting wife of the casino owner!

DON’T MISS THESE TALENTED PERFORMERS!


March 10, 2010

YELM CITY COUNCIL VOTES A 16% WATER RATE INCREASE FOR 2011


Yelm Public Safety Building & City Council Chambers

This writer sent this Letter to the Editor of the NVN this week:

The residents of Yelm are starting to pay directly from their own pockets for the mistakes of city officials.

Yelms City Council was scheduled to vote March 9th for a 16% water rate increase effective April 1, 2010 2011. By the time this is published, Ordinance 918 will have passed [this did pass unanimously & without questions or discussion]. When that water bill is received by residents, a handful will protest to the City Council for a few meetings and then the chorus will probably cease, as has been the case previously. Further, there are scheduled annual water rate increases of 16% January 1, 2011 and 8.25% each year, for 2012-2015. These are going to be big hits for many residents budgets, added to last summers water bill increase.

Why is this City Council voting to approve these water rate increases based on an unapproved Draft Water System Plan? Many aspects of the plan are no longer pertinent, for example, supporting water infrastructure for a major, multi-planned community, in default since before the plan was released to the public.
[The Draft Water System Plan is the proposal of the city relating to water needs for the next 6 years. This must be approved by the State. This has not yet been approved & the water rate increases are based upon this Plan, which may not even be approved and/or implemented.].

Where is the publics outrage at this affront to their wallets?
If not now, when?
When the water bill arrives will be too late!

Observation: What has been very interesting in this whole water rate increase issue is the silence from our business community, who have withstood B & O tax increases on top of the water rate boosts. Yelm Chamber President Elect Glen Cunningham was in the Council chambers last night & uttered not one word on behalf of Yelm’s business community. The silence from Yelm’s businesses has always baffled me!

Ed. Note: At the March 9th City Council meeting, Mayor Harding asked for comments from the audience on the Ordinance to raise water rates. There was none. I declined to answer because speaking to this body is mostly a waste of time. They already have their minds made up on these issues before they even enter the chamber. I took this issue to the court of public opinion, via the newspaper, Mr. Mayor.

UPDATE:
– March 11, 2010

Protect Yelm.org makes a good point asking a great question:
“Are current City of Yelm water customers paying for the commitments city officials made for speculative future developments?
This is a valid question that should be asked.”


March 9, 2010

OLYMPIA RECOGNIZED FOR WATER CONSERVATION PROGRAMS – IS YELM LISTENING?

Local Heroes: City of Olympia Water Conservation Program Covers All Bases

“Olympia, capital of Washington State, located at the tip of the Puget Sound and on the edge of the beautiful Olympic Mountains may seem an odd place for a water conservation program, but the city has had one since 1997 and has expanded in scope every year since its inception.

Why would an area that gets over 50 inches of rain a year, has very mild weather and seemingly ready access to unlimited water need such a program?

Answer: Growth and drought – the state capital is growing and with growth comes increasing demand on all the natural resources, including water. Olympia receives plenty of rain most of the year; however, in July and August it gets only 2 inches of rain. This period coincides with the biggest water use months of the year. This lack of rain during peak season and population growth has led the city to create a multi-faceted program. The program is inclusive of other agencies and departments and some of its key aspects include:

Annual rain barrel sales at a subsidized price
Free rain gauges and rain sensors
Free irrigation checkups for high water user customers
Low water-use washing machine rebates
Education seminars and information

Are the programs working? Yes, according to locals and to support this claim they point to two very different and compelling facts: 1) overall water use has declined since the program started even though the population has grown and the area is in the midst of a drought and 2) more and more households are letting their yards go brown during the peak summer months.

‘You would have almost never seen a brown lawn prior to the program,’ says Tikva Breuer, Water Conservation Program specialist for the city. ‘Now you can see several houses in a row with dominant lawns with a few having Sleeping Lawn signs and this would have not been the case just a few years ago.’ The Sleeping Lawn program is used to educate and encourage residents not to water their lawns during the summer months.

Although the city can fine for over use of water it has an innovative program to encourage compliance instead of using fines. Through the use of night-time drive arounds as well as examination of water billing records the city attempts to find the largest water users and then inform them of the various programs available to assist them in lowering their water bills. Most customers opt to find out more and in fact reduce their water consumption between 17-20% by following the actions recommended by city conservation specialists.

The city programs are not limited to just residential users but also include programs designed specifically to reduce water use at new and existing commercial and government buildings. With the Water Smart Technology program, businesses and government offices can receive rebates when they install approved water-efficient fixtures. For example, through this program, Olympia businesses have received rebates for replacing water-cooled ice machines with air-cooled models, collectively saving over 2 million gallons of water every year.

Through education programs like the Sleeping Lawn program, the annual rain barrel sale event, the commercially-oriented Water Smart Technology program and partnering with local businesses and volunteers to build one water wise garden a year at a local school – the city is building broad awareness of the need for water conservation.

With Washington state’s new “green building law” requiring schools, universities and other public buildings to be built to meet energy efficiency, water conservation and other environmental standards approved in March 2005, the city will continue to investigate new ways and programs to broaden both its reach and effectiveness of their water conservation efforts.

Water conservation is viewed as a must in order to insure a high-quality water supply will be available for Olympia residents in the near and distant future, as well as protect local freshwater habitats and the fish and wildlife that depend on them.

Lessons Learned

For other cities interested in building a broad, inclusive program the lessons learned from Olympia can be applied whether just starting a program or building on an existing program:

1) Repeat rationale for conservation over and over in as many different venues as possible. Changing behavior is hard, especially behavior learned over a lifetime.
2) Target different programs to different audiences. One size fits all will not work with conservation programs. Tailor different programs for businesses versus residential consumers.
3) Partner with others in the community that share your vision.

Key Contacts:
Water Conservation Program
City of Olympia
PO Box 1967
Olympia, WA 98507-1967
360.753.8793

Key Programs:
Rainbarrel Rebate: No, subsidized sale
Rainwater Harvesting Rebate: Yes, pilot
basis
Low Flush Toilet Rebate: Commercial
only
Xeriscape Rebate: No
Low Flow Washing Machine Rebate: Yes
Low Flow Dish Washer Rebate: Yes
Watering Restrictions: Yes
Education Program: Yes
Commercial Programs: Yes
Fines: Yes
Sales Tax Exemption: No
Property,”

quoting HarvestH2o.com (which is) is dedicated to the advancement of sustainable water management practices for individuals, families, communities, and businesses.

THE CITY OF YELM COULD LEARN FROM OLYMPIA’S WATER CONSERVATION PROGRAM!


March 8, 2010

EFFECTS OF ECONOMY ON LOCAL AREA PROJECTS

Roads at bargain prices

“The first phase of the state Route 510 Yelm bypass project could come with a half-price sticker.

The winning bid by Scarsella Bros., a Kent-based general contractor, of $4.1 million was 53 percent below the state Department of Transportations internal estimate.

With the summer construction season approaching, local and state governments are benefiting from an exceptional bidding climate for public works projects such as the one in Yelm, scheduled to start this month. The bad economy is prompting fierce competition among a larger pool of contractors for available work, driving down costs for these projects, which include road construction and utility replacement.

Thats good news for taxpayers, who are paying for the projects, and rotten news for contractors trying to stay afloat in the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” quoting The Olympian.

City of Yelm additions add to Longmire Park cost over runs to build flush toilets

Of course, the City of Yelm went ahead with cost over runs to build flush toilets at Longmire Park, including
a hit of $45,000 for some extra solar piping and electric hand dryers, which is 11.25% over the $400,000 grant requested by the city, according to the budget for this project.
Gold plated toilets? No, however this city just keeps on spending like “drunken sailors”!

Strong economic growth in 4Q will likely fade

“The economy rocketed ahead at a 5.9 percent pace in the final quarter of 2009, stronger than initially estimated. But the growth spurt isn’t expected to carry over into this year.

The fresh reading on the nation’s economic standing, released by the Commerce Department on Friday [Feb. 26] , was better than the government’s initial estimate a month ago of 5.7 percent growth. It would mark the strongest showing in six years.

Even so, it didn’t change the expectation of much slower economic activity in the current January-to-March quarter.

Roughly two-thirds of last quarter’s growth came from a burst of manufacturing – but not because consumer demand was especially strong. In fact, consumer spending weakened at the end of the year, even more than the government first thought.

Instead, factories were churning out goods for businesses that had let their stockpiles dwindle to save cash. If consumer spending remains lackluster as expected, that burst of manufacturing – and its contribution to economic activity – will fade.

The signs aren’t hopeful. Consumer confidence took an unexpected dive in February. Unemployment stands at 9.7 percent. Home foreclosures are at record highs. And many Americans are still having trouble getting loans.

Forecasters at the National Association for Business Economics predict the economy will expand at only a 3 percent pace in the first quarter of this year. The next two quarters should log similar growth, they predict.

Unlike past rebounds driven by the spending of shoppers, this one is hinging more on spending by businesses and foreigners.

Stronger spending by businesses and foreigners contributed to the bump-up in economic growth in the fourth quarter. So did the fact that companies stopped slashing their stockpiles of goods. During the worst of the recession, companies cut inventories at record rates.

Businesses boosted spending on equipment and software at a sizzling 18.2 percent pace, the fastest in nine years. Foreigners snapped up U.S.-made goods and services, which propelled exports to grow at 22.4 pace, the most in 13 years.

And the slower drawdown in businesses’ stockpiles accounted for nearly 4 percentage points of the fourth-quarter’s overall growth, even more than the government first estimated.

Consumers, however, lost energy. They increased their spending at a pace of just 1.7 percent. That was weaker than first thought and down from a 2.8 percent growth rate in the third quarter.

Looking ahead, consumer spending is expected to aid the recovery – not lead it. That’s one reason why the recovery is expected to move forward at only a moderate pace of around 3 percent in coming quarters.

In normal times, such growth would be considered respectable. But the nation is emerging from the worst recession since the 1930s. Sizzling growth in the 5 percent range would be needed for an entire year to drive down the unemployment rate, now 9.7 percent, by just 1 percentage point.

For all of this year, the economy is expected to grow 3.1 percent, according to the NABE forecasters. Though modest, that pace would mark a big improvement from 2009, when the economy contracted by 2.4 percent – the worst showing since 1946.

As government stimulus wanes and Federal Reserve economic-support programs end, the economy – especially the fragile housing market – could suffer. Economists say the odds of the economy sliding back into a recession this year are low, but they won’t rule it out.

If gains from inventories and exports are taken out, the economy last quarter grew at just a 1.6 percent pace.

And, improvements in the housing market also tailed off at the end of last year – despite massive government support.

There’s worry inside and outside the Fed about how housing will fare once a homebuyer tax credit ends in the spring and the Fed stops a mortgage-securities buying program that has lowered mortgage rates and boosted sales,” quoting KING-5 TV.
http://www.king5.com/news/business/Strong-economic-growth-in-4Q-will-likely-fade-85479397.html


March 7, 2010

NATURESCAPING FIELD CLASS SET FOR MARCH 11TH

Naturescaping field class set for March 11

Stream Team and WSU Extensions Native Plant Salvage Project
offers a free

“Naturescaping for Water and Wildlife Workshop
Thursday, March 11
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Thurston County Fairgrounds
Heritage Hall
3054 Carpenter Road S.E.
Olympia, WA.

Workshop participants will learn design ideas to attract more birds, butterflies, amphibians, and beneficial insects to home landscapes while reducing maintenance headaches and protecting water resources. Participants will also receive hardscaping ideas, learn how to minimize lawn areas and discover how to select drought-tolerant plants. A special emphasis will be placed on landscaping on tricky prairie soils. Participants will receive free handouts to help them create more attractive and sustainable landscapes.

The workshop is free, but advanced registration is required.
To register, e-mail nativeplantsalvage@gmail.com or call 867-2166.

Stream Team is an education-to-action program for people interested in protecting and enhancing our local streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound.

The Native Plant Salvage Project was initiated in 1994 to involve Thurston County residents in protecting water resources and improving wildlife habitat in Southern Puget Sound.


March 6, 2010

SUPPORT OUR LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESSES: NISQUALLY RIVER B & B RETREAT


“Bed & breakfast overlooking the Nisqually River”

Owner Priscilla Taylor opened up her home in the Nisqually Pines to guests, the Nisqaully River bed & breakfast Retreat. Located on the Nisqually River, this is a three-bedroom, two-bath abode with elaborate decor, and a 56-foot deck plus other luxury amenities.

“This picture-perfect deluxe private home on the Nisqually River, overlooking snowcapped Mt. Rainier in historic Yelm, can be enjoyed by you and your family as a Bed and Breakfast Retreat on a daily basis with all amenities, gourmet breakfast, afternoon high tea, with other amenities too numerous to mention.

With a great location, you can see that it is only minutes away from Lacey, Olympia, and only an hour from Seattle.

While you are enjoying our lovely deck along the river, watch for our pet squirrel, Oscar, he loves to eat out of our many feeders. You can also keep a look out for the Bald Eagles as they soar by.

We look forward to serving you for your romantic get-a-way experience of a lifetime, at affordable rates,” quoting the website.

Current Specials
$60 + tax & cleaning fee.
Stay 3 nights & the 4th night is free

Nisqually River Bed & Breakfast Retreat
8436 Sumac Ct. SE
Yelm, WA. 98597
(360) 458-1791

TELL NISQUALLY RIVER B & B RETREAT YOU READ ABOUT THEM ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG!


March 5, 2010

CITY TO RAISE WATER RATES – AGAIN – AS PROMISED!

The City of Yelm promised via the UNAPPROVED Water System Plan that they would be billing their residents into the future for their mistakes, folly & hubris regarding the city’s water.
City residents are going to get hit with another 16% rate increase effective January 1, 2011, which the City Council will approve this Tuesday.
SLAM DUNK!

Here is the the Staff Report

To: Mayor Ron Harding Yelm City Council
From: Stephanie Ray, Project Manager
Date: March 1st, 2010 (for March 9th Council meeting)
Subj: Implementing 2010 Water Rate
Recommendation
To authorize Mayor Harding to sign Ordinance No. 918, implementing monthly water rate and meter fees taking effect April 1, 2010, with annual increases through 2015.
Background
During the past year, staff has been working on an update to the 2002 Water System Plan. As part of that planning process a financial analysis was conducted to determine the necessary revenue requirements during the next six year planning period to maintain the financial stability of the water fund (401).
Current
In June of 2009, Council adopted Ordinance 905 as part of a series of rate increases that will take place over the next six year planning period (2009-2015). The increases in fund revenue will allow for the continued operation and maintenance needs of the system, meet required debt coverage ratios, meet reserve requirements, and replace old or failing waterlines as well as fund new debt service for proposed capital projects.
Ordinance 918 funds the operational and maintenance needs of the water fund as well as provides for the implementation of capital projects as outlined in the water system planned and further approved by Council.
CITY OF YELM
ORDINANCE NO. 918
AN ORDINANCE of the City Council of the City of Yelm, Washington amending Chapter 13.04 Yelm Municipal Code relating to water rates.
WHEREAS, the City of Yelm (City) is a non-charter Code city located in Thurston County, Washington; and
WHEREAS, the City has been working on an update of its 2002 Water System Plan; and
WHEREAS, the updated plan has been completed and submitted to the Washington State Department of Health for approval; and
WHEREAS, the draft updated plan includes a financial analysis and rate recommendation which supports existing debt, operation and maintenance of the water system, and new capital projects identified in the updated plan; and
WHEREAS, the financial analysis included a recommendation for rate increases of 16% in 2009 and 2010 followed by increases of 8.25% from 2011 through 2015; and
WHEREAS, the City Council adopted the 2009 rate increase on June 9, 2009 via Ordinance Number 905; and
WHEREAS, Ordinance Number 905 did not adopt rate increases for 2010 through 2015, as recommended by the financial analysis;
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF YELM, WASHINGTON, DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 13.04.250 Yelm Municipal Code is amended as follows:
13.04.250 Monthly water base and consumption rates shall be as follows:
A. Monthly Base Rate Charges. The monthly base rate charges based upon meter size for all consumers will be:
2010 Rate Table
Meter Size
Meter Charge
5/8 inch (Typical Residential)
$17.60 $20.42
1 inch
$44.00 $51.04
2 inch
$88.00 $102.08
3 inch
$140.80 $163.33
4 inch
$281.60 $326.66
5 inch
$440.00 $510.40
6 inch
$440.00 $510.40
5/8 inch (Outside City Limits)
$28.80 $33.41
Monthly base rate charges shall be increased by sixteen percent (16%) January 1, 2011, and eight and one quarter percent (8.25%) January 1 of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
B. Monthly Consumption Charges. The monthly consumption charges for all commercial, residential and irrigation meters will be:
2010 Rate Table
Water Usage (Cubic Feet)
0-400
400-1000
1000-2000
2000-3000
3000+
Residential
$1.65/ccf
$1.91/ccf
$2.55/ccf
$2.96/ccf
$5.76/ccf
$6.68/ccf
$6.25/ccf
$7.25/ccf
$7.16/ccf
$8.31/ccf
Commercial
$4.42/ccf $5.13/ccf
Irrigation
$7.16/ccf $8.31/ccf
Monthly consumption charges shall be increased by sixteen percent (16%) January 1, 2011, and eight and one quarter percent (8.25%) January 1 of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
C. Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems. All buildings with an automatic fire sprinkler system connected to the city water distribution shall pay the ready-to-serve charge based on the pipe size as substituted for equal meter size in the rate schedule. No water shall be used through such connections or sprinkler system except for actual fire control. If the consumer is found using water through unmetered special fire or sprinkler service connection for other than fire protection, then each such connection shall be equipped with a conventional-type meter at the expense of the property owner.
D. Outside City Corporate Limits. Charges for the use of water outside the corporate limits of the city shall be the meter rate identified in the “outside” schedule.
E. Temporary Water Service. Temporary water service for construction of any building, street, utility or similar project shall be provided at the rate identified in the rate schedule in subsection A or B of this section dependent upon location of project. A construction meter shall be required and application shall be made at the office of the public works director identifying location and reason for use of water. A deposit of $600.00 for each construction meter shall be collected. Upon completion of the project, return of construction meter and charges for consumed water is paid for, return of deposit shall be made to consumer.
Section 2. Effective Date.
This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect five (5) days after passage and publication as provided by law.
ADOPTED BY the City Council of Yelm, Washington, this 9th day of March, 2010 and signed in authentication thereof this ____ day of _________, 2010.
Ron Harding, Mayor


March 4, 2010

COMMENT TO THURSTON COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

I submitted this comment to the public hearing of the Thurston County Planning Commission last night:

On October 10, 2007, I came before the Thurston County Planning Commission with my comments to the Comprehensive Plan update,
as did others. After hearing from the public, the Thurston County Planning Commission asked Yelm Community Development Director Grant Beck to step up to answer questions.

These questions from the Thurston County Planning Commission then are as valid today, so I submit them in total with my updated comments in CAPS.

1. The City of Yelm has specified level of service (LOS) F in the Comp. Plan since 1995?
Beck: Yes

2. The concurrency mark was set in 1998 where LOS D is the Regional Plan and must be followed.
What steps have been taken to get roads to LOS D since 1998?
Beck: The Yelm Loop (Bypass) & the inner Loop (side connector streets)

3. The Bypass is not funded, so let’s eliminate that from the discussion.
Beck: It’s out of our control, as the largest amount of traffic, 63% comes from outside of the city and its UGA.
Commissioners: We want to see your surveys on the 63% coming from the county and will examine traffic from SE Thurston & Pierce Counties impacting Yelm’s arteries, as well, as we are responsible for and need to know what that impact is.

4. So outside of the Loop, nothing has been done to bring LOS down to level D?
Beck: Mumbles with no coherent response.

5. If traffic is out of your control in the City, then why are you still issuing building permits, and to 500 home developments and larger, asked Chris Lane?
Beck: Mumbles again.

6. About the issue of the unfunded Bypass used to mitigate traffic, how much is unfunded.
Beck: about 30 million. We have received $1 million from the government & $33 million for right-of-way acquisition and are working on getting the rest of the funding package next year.

THE CITY OF YELM REQUESTED THE DOT DIVIDE THE 4.3 MILE BYPASS INTO TWO PHASES & TRANSFER THE ENGINEERING & R-O-W FUNDING OF THE LARGER 3.2 MILES OF PHASE 2 OF THE BYPASS TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF PHASE ONE. CONSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN THIS SPRING ON A 1.1 MILE SECTION OF THE BYPASS FROM MUD RUN RD. TO CULLEN RD. JUST EAST OF THE YELM HIGH SCHOOL, BYPASSING ONLY THE HIGH SCHOOL FOR NOW AND PUTTING HEAVY TRAFFIC ON THE SIDE RESIDENTIAL STREETS OF KILLIAN & CULLEN. FUNDING PHASE TWO, WHILE A PRIORITY OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE, HAS BEEN POSTPONED BY THE GOVERNOR TO THE 2021-2023 BIENNIUM. THE LONGER PHASE 2 SECTION ADJOINS A SUPER WAL-MART, WHO USED AN UNBUILT & THEN-UNFUNDED BYPASS TO MITIGATE THEIR TRAFFIC ON THEIR BUILDING APPLICATION.

7. When do you expect construction to start on the Bypass?
Beck: with funding next year, then 2009
Commissioners: and length of construction?
Beck: 2 years
Commissioners: then you expect in 2011 this road will be operational, which is a full 13 years after the concurrency mark was set in 1998. You should have not been using an unfunded Bypass this long to determine mitigation allowing you to continue to approve large developments.

ONLY A 1.1 MILE SECTION OF THE 4.3 MILES IS FUNDED AND WILL BE CONSTRUCTED & EXPECTED TO BE OPERATIONAL IN 2011.
THE 3.3 MILE PHASE 2 IS UNFUNDED WITH NO FUTURE FUNDING DATE.

8. Why was staff (Thurston County) supporting the Yelm plan.
County Staffer Swenson: Yelm did not have a policy change or a text change.

Chris Lane moved and Tom Cole seconded the motion to NOT move forward in approving Yelm’s Transportation & Introduction Chapter updates that would have sent them on to the Board of County Commissioners.
Mr. Lane commented he is a Realtor, although a commercial Realtor, yet he is for responsible development.
He said, “It’s irresponsible if we don’t look at this. It’s irresponsible to add to the problem when you can’t deal with it (Yelm’s traffic) now.”
ON SEPTEMBER 17,2007,
“the Yelm Planning Commission was told by Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) Senior Planner and City of Yelm adviser Kathy McCormick the State officially informed her Yelm’s main arteries are highways of regional significance, which states level of service (LOS) D (the grade given roads based on a traffic analysis) is regional policy on the city’s Highways 507/510.
She stated the Yelm plan is, therefore, in “conflict.”
Ms. McCormick said that Yelm’s Comprehensive Plan Transportation Chapter’s lower LOS F threshold (the lowest grade possible for roads) is NOT consistent with the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) standard or how the Thurston County Comprehensive Traffic Plan is supposed to read.
The City of Yelm has specified level of service (LOS) F in the Comp. Plan since 1995, and the concurrency mark was set in 1998, where LOS D is the Regional Plan and must be followed. Outside of new connector streets and relying on an unfunded Bypass OR PARTIALLY FUNDED BYPASS, little has been done here to achieve concurrency, in almost 10 years, all the while approving mega-developments and accepting applications for more home construction & developments.

The then Thurston County Planning Commission rejected the Yelm Comp Plan and called it “irresponsible.
Planning Commission Minutes of Oct. 10, 2007:

Click to access 03%20County%20PC%20Minutes.pdf

The then-Thurston County Commissioners rejected the recommendation of the own Planning Commission and accepted Yelm Comp. plan in the County’s.

If Yelm’s Comprehensive Plan must be consistent with Thurston County’s, then this issue needs to be addressed yet again.

Thank you,


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