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CITY COUNCIL TO REALLY ‘STICK-IT’ TO NEW WATER CUSTOMERS TONIGHT


Yelm Public Safety Building & City Council Chambers

The Yelm City Council will hold a Public Hearing Tuesday, August 24, 2010 to “shove-it” to new water connection uses with an almost 3.5 times water connection fee increase via Ordinance No. 926, from $1,500.00 per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) to $5,036.00 per ERU.

They are also set to approve Ordinance No. 927 amending the Yelm Municipal Code (YMC) to revise the definition of an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU), effective October 1, 2010, at 215 gallons per day, which equates to 875 cubic feet per month.
CLICK HERE to calculate your own daily water usage, from the USGS.

SINCE THE CITY KNOWS FEW WILL ATTEND THE PUBIC HEARING OR MAKE ANY COMMENT, THE YELM CITY COUNCIL WILL VOTE ON THIS DIRECTLY AFTER THE “PUBLIC HEARING”, WHICH IS JUST A FORMALITY.
OTHERWISE, WHY SCHEDULE AN ORDINANCE VOTE RIGHT AFTER A PUBLIC HEARING ON THAT ORDINANCE?
THEY KNOW LESS THAN A HANDFUL WILL COMMENT.
THIS SHOWS THE CITY COUNCIL HAS NO INTENT TO CONSIDER & DELIBERATE ON A PUBLIC COMMENT, PERIOD.
THIS IS ALL FOR SHOW FOR THEM TO SAY THEY FOLLOWED PROCEDURE.
AND, YOU KNOW WHAT?
THEY ARE RIGHT.
FEW WILL ATTEND EXCEPT CITY CHAMBER PRESIDENT GLEN CUNNINGHAM AND THE NVN REPORTER.
YET THE CITY COUNCIL IS SETTING POLICY ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ALL IN FRONT OF AND YET BEHIND THE PUBLIC’S BACK!

Mayor Harding spoke in his NVN column this week of his admiration for the large number of military families in this community he encountered while recently door-belling. Yet that comment is hypocrisy, since under his administration has been the largest string of annual tax increases, the largest water rate-payer increases & the largest spending (on litigation) in City of Yelm history!

And recently-elected City Council member Tracey Wood ran on a ticket to speak-up for the public here.
His actions in voting for tax increases, water rate-payer increases & the litigation spending in Yelm in his 8 months in office show otherwise!
I warned the public he had little knowledge of water issues here on October 3, 2009 when he said about the water rate increase:
“is not that the water rate has gone up, it’s how much the water rate has gone up all at once.”
What an ignorant statement then!
Mr. Wood, you preside over a Water System Plan (WSP) that raises water rate-payer rates almost 70% between 2009 & 2015, a Plan about which you show you know virtually nothing, yet vote for ordinances on this Plan’s rate increases!

These two and their fellow Council members are basically voting to tax the very people they say they want to help – via water rate increases & connection fees! To raise the water-connection fees almost
3 1/2 times will certainly dampen development here & people wanting to buy a home here now.

Questions should be raised, yet will not be:
– Why is the public funding almost $20 million dollars to move the city’s water system to the SW area [Thurston Highlands site]?

– Where is the justification & why is the City of Yelm so completely absolute in rebuilding the entire water system 2 miles from their current system?
Why not question why the city doesn’t drill existing wells deeper into the aquifer if the issue is the city’s shallow wells affecting Yelm Creek?

– Why is that water system move being funded on the backs of water system rate-payers through massive water rate increases & connection fees?

– Isn’t the city is well-served with their current, adequate water system?
Why not make improvements to that?
Wouldn’t that save millions of dollars?

– Is the city dumping their current water system?
Certainly seems that way with the 10’s of millions of dollars proposed in miles of new piping, drilling test wells, storage, etc. as outlined on the city’s Water System Plan.
Funding requirements for the the 6 year plan is almost $11 million without Master-Planned Communities, $16.5 million with Master-Planned Communities.

– Yelm’s Water System Plan (WSP) has not yet been approved by Health or Ecology.
Yet, these ordinances when passed become city policy.
This is also against the city’s own Yelm Vision Statement (Plan).
Is this is just another avenue to future development so no one notices?
Where is the public asking why?

– Folks, Ordinance No. 926 unanimously now becomes city policy Tuesday, all while the Yelm public is asleep!

– This is Yelm’s City Council:
At the close of 2009, the tally of what this City Council imposed on their residents & businesses were:

1. a 69% water rate increase from 2009-2015
2. 1% property tax increases in 2008 & 2009 (and probably again in 2010)
3. B & O tax increase
4. Utility tax increase
5. Laid-off 6 city staffers, including Community and Government Relations Coordinator Cindy Teixeira, for whom the city had then built a new office.
6. Made policy to leave an open Police Department position unfilled.
7. Instituted spending multi-tens of thousands of dollars in litigation expenses to seize a citizen’s water rights.

And in 2010, Yelm’s City Council voted to reduce businesses’ irrigation by a mandatory 50%
& now are raising water hook-up fees from $1,500 to over $5,000 for residential customers.

And, if anyone didn’t notice, on the Council’s Agenda tonight,
“Executive Session to discuss litigation & potential litigation.”
Translated = That means more thousands of dollars in expenditures for sure!

If you should wish to attend to voice your concerns,
7pm
Tuesday, August 24th
Yelm’s Council Chmabers
Public Safety Building
206 McKenzie Ave SE
Yelm


WATCH YOUR WATER BILL ANNUALLY FOR MORE INCREASES & ENJOY!
THE PUBLIC’S SILENCE ON THIS IS COMPLICIT IN THE RATE INCREASES.

Posted by Steve on August 24, 2010 at 6:17 am | Permalink

Post a comment

2 comments

  1. Ordinance 927!
    215 gallons of water per day! I thought that is what the county calculated for usuage per person on a septic system. ?? Not sure if this has changed too.

    Folks, Our water bills are climbing already. If you own property in Yelm, as I do, presently the base rate is approximately $80 per month including sewer. Now depending on your water useage, your billing is calculated. Who in the future can afford to live in the city? Add this to the present econmic climate and most people won’t choose to live within city limits. At 215 gallons of water per day, does this take into account a family?
    I don’t think so.
    Growth is beautiful on every level and the great minds that are planning our future; Are they thinking?

    Comment by Cynthia on August 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

  2. FINALLY, some one is getting the picture & responding.

    I hope you rally all of your contacts in the city.

    Comment by Steve Klein on August 23, 2010 at 12:39 pm

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