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Mayor Ron Harding

Yelm’s Mayor Ron Harding has been recently touting his policy to continue Yelm’s growth.
Some recent examples:

1. Mayor Ron Harding answered questions on October 14th as the guest of the Yelm Real Estate Network.
The group reports Mayor Harding said he hopes to have enough water approved by Ecology by June, 2011 for 300-400 additional homes to be hooked-up.
Harding told the gathering there has been enough saved with water conservation to get approval for 300-400 additional homes.

With a home using approximately 3.5 acre feet per year (afy) of water, here is how Yelm intends to get the added water to be approved by Ecology:

– Yelm is expecting to get approximately 30 afy of the McMonigle water rights.

– Yelm is expected to report a 2010 net savings of 67 afy of water via conservation & citizen cutbacks due to the high water bills from annual increases – a total net savings will be determined after the conclusion of 2010, sometimes in January, 2011.

– 30 afy savings on well consolidation with the new test well, a report covered by Megan Hanson in the Nisqually Valley News last week.

– this totals 127 new additional afy of water allocation anticipated, which equates to 36 new homes (127 divided by 3.5), new homes Mayor Harding is touting for water approval rights.

Yelm’s current Ecology annual water allocation – 796.66 acre feet per year.
Harding wants Ecology’s approval for 300-400 new homes, which equates to 1,270 acre feet per year (350 new homes) or double Yelm’s annual allocation.
Does anyone serious think Ecology is going to allow Yelm to pump that much water?

So, the mayor will get enough water for approximately 35 homes as is seen now, and touts getting water for 10 times that many homes. HMMM!

2. ” U.S. foreclosure mess chills investors, clouds market”
“Uncertainties hanging over the industry raise concerns about the broader economy”
By Helen Chernikoff Reuters on MSNBC.

Ed. Note: The Yelm Real Estate network should ask these questions:
– Who is Mr. Harding expecting to build these new homes?
– Who does Mr. Harding expect to buy these new homes?
– Who does Mr. Harding expect will loan money for new homes in Yelm with massive water hook-up fees & annual water rate increases?
– Who does Mr. Harding expect to qualify for mortgages for these new homes?
– Why is Mr. Harding wanting to continually grow this town?

The continued grow, grow, grow policies of this city defy logic and demonstrate an education not far beyond a basic high-school economics class.
Continual growth comes at a cost!
The effects of Harding’s continual Yelm growth on roads, air & water resources are already showing up in this pristine area.

Last week I had the pleasure of receiving a call from a local community leader & we conversed on a myriad of subjects including the trashing of Yelm’s 1995 Vision Plan. We spoke of Yelm’s logo, the Pride of the Prairie & sadly commented the Prairie in Yelm is almost all built over.

3. Megan Hanson in the Nisqually Valley News reported last Friday:
“Loop Hoopla”
“Officials celebrate phase one completion of the Yelm Bypass project”

“The new road is the first of a two phases designed to relieve congestion in one of the fastest growing areas in Washington. Since 2000 Yelms population has grown by more than 50 percent. The second phase of the project, which extends the new road from Cullens Road to State Highway 507, will begin once funding is available.”

Yelm’s population has grown by 50% in ten years and Mayor Harding expects to have water for 300-400 more homes by June.
Folks, do you want this town to grow another 25%?
Perhaps the economic environment will keep Harding’s goal in-check, which will assist the city’s environment.

Seems the mayor should focus on what is happening NOW in Yelm compared to continually looking to grow, grow, grow –

look around and see all of the closed businesses, vacant storefronts & how many more people here are going to food banks, as outlined in the Melanie Lockhart’s story on Oct. 15th in the NVN titled:
“Feeding hungry”
“New Yelm warehouse fast becoming a hub”

And, last year, UCBO had the largest amount of requests in their history for family aid at the holidays in 2009. Expect an even higher number in 2010.

We ought to take care of our own first before adding more growth!

And last,
my wife and I drove on the new Phase 1 of the Bypass Thursday evening, the day after opening,
as we returned from dinner and shopping in Lacey (what we wanted to buy could not be found in Yelm – we shopped around here first). Upon entering the roundabout, the road signs noted the speed limit of 35 mph on a straight away. The bright moon was shrouded in clouds so the highway was totally dark.

There on the side of the road in the darkness was a police vehicle with the radar gun pointing our way. We were well within the speed limit, yet couldn’t help but notice that the city has found a new use for the bypass – to generate some quick revenue from unsuspecting citizens on a darkened straight-away issuing speeding tickets & on the 2nd day of opening – jeepers!
So drivers checking-out the bypass at night – be ware.

Posted by Steve on October 25, 2010 at 5:28 am | Permalink

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One comment

  1. Re: Water
    I think there may be some fuzzy math going on here…
    By my calculations, if each new home uses 3.5 afy, then the new 127 afy the city anticipates should be DIVIDED by 3.5, yielding 36 new home capacity.
    If, on the other hand, the mayor wants to see another 300-400 homes, then at 3.5 afy per home, he’ll need to find 1050-1400 afy of “new” water.
    Or did I miss something here?

    Comment by James Zukowski on October 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

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