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Yelm Public Works infrastructure reaching critical point –
Millions of dollars needed for water/sewer upgrades

Previous councils sent upgrades and expansion down the drain, resulting in serious issues.
City of Yelm leadership needs to come clean with property owners,
as Public Works Dept. has reached a crisis with no funding source as yet.

Story Highlights
* Yelm Public Works infrastructure reaching critical point.
* Public Works & city notices of breakdowns becoming more frequent,
* Harding, his complicit councils did little Public Works upgrades to handle their growth,
* Band-aid fixes are putting-off an inevitable multi-million dollar breakdown,
* Deferred maintenance/upgrades have “kicked the can down the road” too far,
* Lack of action in detailing this problem to the public is irresponsible,
* Former Public Works Director Ryan Johnstone raised the red-flag,
* Current Public Works Director Chad Bedlington has also told staff and councilors,
* Upcoming election requires candidates to raise this as city’s NUMBER ONE issue.
* If residents awake one morning to no water, no sewer, what will the city do then?
* Costs: $2 million needed immediately, $17 million estimated for upgrades.
* This city can not grow properly without a sufficiently operating Public Works Dept.
* Yelm citizens need to be brought into this conversation immediately.
* Some city leaders don’t want me saying this, however this city has reached a crisis!

– From the City of Yelm Government Facebook post, July 13, 7:33pm:
“Our Water Reclamation Facility is not processing waste properly and we are experiencing higher than normal levels of ammonia, which inhibits our ability to generate Reclaimed Water for irrigation purposes. We’ve been hauling potable water by truck to Longmire Park in an attempt to preserve the ball fields, but we are losing ground with this effort and it comes at a steep expense to the Utility to haul 45,000 to 50,000 gallons of water a day to the park (there isn’t adequate potable water supply at the Park to support irrigation needs). In light of the uncertainty to resolving this irrigation problem, we’ve stopped hauling water to the Longmire ball fields and are allowing the grasses to go dormant. The inability to deliver irrigation water is also impacting a few other City Parks and some right-of-way landscape areas. We are working with the Dept. of Ecology to fix the problem. The challenge is we are working against years of deferred maintenance and outdated software, as previously shared with you on our post on April 5. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and will do whatever we can to come to a swift resolution of this problem. We wanted to keep you informed about why the grass is browning in some areas. We’ve also developed a fact-sheet to share some of the challenges and solutions we are working toward at our Wastewater Reclamation Facility so you stay informed: www.yelmwa.gov/uploads/library/reports/WWTP1.pdf
Read more

– The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) covered part of this story last April:
“Yelm Seeks Funding for Water Reclamation”
“Multiphase $17M Project Will Expand and Update Plant”
By former NVN reporter Graham Perednia.
Read more

Posted by Steve on July 17, 2017 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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