There certainly is good community interest in the proposed expansion of our wastewater system. The meeting last week was the first I have attended since I've kept tabs on the situation for the past 15 years. The educational presentation by Mayor Burns and the department staff was well-done, but took well over an hour, followed by a question period that went on for another hour. I, for one, had had enough for one session, so there may or may not have been an audience for the comment portion of the meeting.
It was interesting to hear Mayor Burns and department head Jim Barnts both make a point about the terrible rusted out state of our present system. Since a portion of our bill is collected for continuing maintenance, one does wonder why the plant has been allowed to fall into such condition. Aging equipment certainly needs the careful attention that evidently has been neglected at our facility.
I was impressed with the good investigative work a number of the questioners had done. Several questions concerning the legality of actions were brought up, and hopefully answers to each will be required and resolved to the community's satisfaction.
There seems little question whether or not updating of the system must continue as the only way to keep the state water control board from imposing penalties which we certainly don't want added to our use bills. The question is whether to continue bringing what we have into compliance or to expand the system. And if we expand, who should bear the financial burden? Those who have already paid for water/sewer service, or those who will develop and use the expanded facilities.
We have many good heads in our county, and I would like to see a gathering of anyone and everyone who feels they know of a better way to finance this project than what has been proposed. I have asked the council members to call for such a meeting, and would suggest anyone with an alternative funding idea call the city with the same request.
Protesting is fine, but does not solve the problem. I will look forward to attending a good brain-storming session soon.
Lois F. Munson