Editor’s note: The Yelm city council was faced with the inevitable Tuesday, September 24th – they will be forced to consider more water/sewer rate increases! I join council candidate James Blair commending Councilor Tracey Wood for speaking up on behalf of Yelm constituents, which you can hear beginning on the video at the 41:00 minute mark. Wood said with unusually voice inflection, “We need to tap the brakes here…” However, to be clear, the city’s top leadership and the council have done little to present plans on how to bring a decade of deferred maintenance in Public Works to current operating standards. The Public Works Director has previously told the council that $15-$24 million is required for this project, covered here many times. While I am glad to see Mr. Wood now take a stand, this is a serious issue that requires every councilor to have the same passion and focus that Mr. Wood now displays. I concur with Mr. Blair’s criticism about the city’s Executive branch bypassing the council in decision-making. Is continuing to seek to add more residential subdivision building permits for city revenue responsible when deferred Public Works maintenance and upgrades are long overdue and required before a serious breakdown, leaving city residents with either no water or sewer service?
- From Councilor Molly Carmody’s Facebook post:
1. We received a request from Public Works to approve $30k to pay for a financial audit of our sewer/water billing, specifically because public works wants to raise rates again for future repairs. We were all pretty upset, because firstly, we thought we were done with raising rates, and secondly, because we thought that they already had this all planned out. Now apparently the design specs for the plant have changed, which means that we will need to change how much we bill. We voted to postpone voting on whether to pay for the financial audit until the actual plans are done. Very, very frustrating on several fronts. I don’t want to raise rates any more than you do, and this whole thing seems unorganized at best.