Several news items about the City of Yelm making recent headlines:
1. CITY ASKS HEALTH FOR MORE WATER CONNECTIONS
According to the City of Yelm website:
“The City has applied to the Washington State Department of Health for an amendment to the adopted Water System Plan to reflect additional connections available based on actual water usage between 2008 and 2010.”
The city’s Water System Plan approval by Health in December, 2010.
The city’s Water System Plan Amendment No. 1.
Ed. Note: Water system connections are not based on what the city says are “the highly successful conservation efforts over the last three years. They are based on Ecology’s allocated water acre-feet-per year (afy) numbers.
Yelm’s water conservation came only in 2010 when the city unilaterally imposed a mandatory 50% irrigation cutback on Yelm businesses, even padlocking those water connections of businesses that hit that maximum water usage.
Perhaps the city thinks with state budget cutbacks, Health will just approve their request because of lack of oversight? Perhaps they’ll be right, too. HMMM!
2. YELM RECORDS HUGE 3RD QUARTER RETAIL SALES INCREASE
Rolf Boone in The Olympian reports:
“Thurston County taxable retail sales rose more than 3 percent in the third quarter, another sign that economic activity here and throughout the state is slowly starting to improve, according to state Department of Revenue data released this week…
Thurston County taxable retail sales overall rose 3.43 percent in the year-over-year third-quarter period
Yelm: Rose 14.43 percent to $41 million from $35.8 million.”
Ed. Note: While Yelm led the county & Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater in retails sales in the third quarter, 2010 and Yelm’s Mayor, who is also the Yelm Chamber President will trumpet that tomorrow at the Chamber Forum luncheon with Thurston County economics as the topic, I would be cautious, as Yelm has trailed the state, county & county cities in retail sales for almost 2 years.
While Yelm may be overjoyed with this report, as more military move into this area, one would be fool-hardy to think that growth can be sustained alone by an increase in military families here.
Economics 101: One quarter’s report does NOT give you the trend to say that a local retail sales slump is over!
Beware of the spin coming out in the local newspaper (city’s newspaper of record, too) from city officials!
Following tomorrow’s County update at the Yelm Chamber Forum,
“Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater, Yelm and Thurston County leaders will take part in a “State of the Community” address, hosted by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce.
The event is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 12 at Saint Martin’s Worthington Center. The cost is $30 for general admission, $25 for members at the door and $20 for members who reserve online,” quoting Mr. Boone’s Olympian story.
3. “STATE JOB LOSSES KEEP ADDING UP”
Brad Shannon reports for The Olympian,
“The Great Recession has led to state budget cuts and a smaller state government work force. State government employment in Washington hit a peak in 2008 and has been shrinking since.
Washingtons www.fiscal.wa.gov website shows that total budgeted jobs in all agencies and higher education institutions peaked in the 2007-09 spending cycle.
Ed. Note: the state cutbacks will continue to be felt in this area. as Olympia trims jobs, many of those who live & shop in Yelm will cutback also.
4. YELM’S CITY COUNCIL TO APPROPRIATE TENS OF THOUSANDS ON DOWNTOWN WELL REHAB
On the Yelm City Council Agenda for tomorrow evening is a Staff Report requesting Council:
“To authorize Mayor Harding to direct city staff in conjunction with the Citys consultant Parametrix to pre-purchase the variable frequency drives in a not to exceed amount of $100,000.00 (one hundred thousand dollars no cents).
During the preliminary design phase of the downtown well rehabilitation project, staff worked with Parametrix to develop a design and operational scheme that would allow the City to increase source capacity at the downtown well site as well as improve efficiency measures in the operation and maintenance of the wells.”
IF the city is spending all of this money to rehab the existing downtown well to increase capacity & IF the city would spend $1.6 million dollars to complete their Golf-Course well, then WHY does the city have in their Water System Plan $11.8 million to build whole new infrastructure & water system in the Southwest Area, commonly known as Thurston Highlands?
Will this investigative report/question be found in our local newspaper after the Council’s appropriation Tuesday night, so all of our fellow citizens could be aware – or merely the city’s spin?