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.
– 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.”