Lake Stevens Sewer District to review rates and charges
Through the early months of 2010, the Lake Stevens Sewer District will be reviewing its comprehensive plan. Under pressure from real estate developers, the sewer district may be considering changes to the collection of General Facility Charges. GFC’s are pre-paid, new construction mitigations for the expense of future system upgrades and facility construction, such as the new Lake Stevens wastewater treatment plant at the foot of Hwy. 204. We all know infrastructure upgrades are fantastically expensive—such as the new plant and the 20th St./Hewitt Ave. widening—and GFC’s are the sewer district’s attempts to make “growth pay for growth.” For many years current ratepayers/homeowners have been “front loading” a down payment or nest egg to kick start the financing of the new sewage treatment plant. Also, for the past year or so, about 38 percent of our $60 monthly sewage charge has been going to finance the new plant. Current ratepayers are certainly shouldering their fair share of the new treatment plant. I believe it would be unfair to current ratepayers to postpone, reduce, or waive the payments of new construction GFC’s. Current residents did not max out capacity at the old plant; the new homes coming into Callow Road (Nourse LLC), Walker Hill (Eaglemont), and the west-facing slopes above the Snohomish River valley are the ones that maxed out the old plant. Also, we are already helping to pay down the loans for the new plant, but we need the help of new construction too. Although the early afternoon commissioner meetings are difficult for most of us to attend, the Lake Stevens Sewer District has a user-friendly and informative website. Please join me in insisting that the sewer district continue to fully charge GFC’s in a timely and prudent manner.
Tom Matlack Lake Stevens Community Transit raising fee, eliminating runs as deficit grows
Community Transit may raise their fees and eliminate Sunday runs to eliminate their $2 million deficit. What happened to “if you build it they will ride?” All we have heard from the people pushing mass transit is that if we have more busses and build Link Light Rail that ridership would skyrocket ... Hmm ... I am still waiting and the budget deficit grows.
Todd Welch Everett There are angels in the city of Granite Falls
It always makes me sad when a big story breaks about difficulties in Granite Falls. The news media just loves this. But they seem to overlook the good that goes on. I, however, want people to know that we have real live angels here in town. I know the first one who blessed me with a wonderful gift in early December. Then near the end of the month, again I was given a wonderful and very thoughtful gift. Angel number two is unknown to me. So to both angels (maybe it’s only one) I give my heartfelt thanks and a big God bless you.
Lois V. Blythe Granite Falls Leash laws may have helped protect dog Dear Editor,
My sympathies go out to Michael Watson’s daughter on the loss of her dog; however, the letter raised several questions about her proper ownership of the animal while claiming victim status and warning that “someone is running around with a gun” That “her first thought” would be a car had hit the dog, strongly indicates the dog was permitted to get off property and therefore was off leash. Unless cars were running over his daughter’s property to run over the dog. I believe it is far more likely that Mr. Watson’s daughter, let her dog run loose. Rather than someone “running around with a gun shooting at animals” as this would require the weapon discharge under “public” conditions, it would seem much more likely that an unleashed animal got onto other people’s property, in violation of the County wide leash law, and the animal got “privately” shot in an inappropriate and illegal response to that trespass. I believe Mr. Watson’s daughter could have easily avoided this tragic loss by simply obeying the leash law. By the way, cats are a bigger problem than dogs. They walk on my car, fight in my driveway, and constantly cause my dog to want to go outside because other people’s cats want to sleep on my porch. It’s enough to make me want to raise coyotes.
Lee Allen Everett Festive salmon brought a smile to Lake Stevens Dear Editor, I would like to thank the elves who adorned the salmon in our roundabout with a Santa hat and reindeer antlers. This put a smile on my face each time I passed by. My girlfriend’s uncle carved those salmon so I took a picture which will be sent to him. Loved it!
Julie Dick Lake Stevens State employees have sacrificed to help budget crisis Dear Editor,
The Jan. 7 guest editorial from Amber Gunn of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation is just plain factually wrong. She says the governor and legislature have not re-opened state employee contracts as allowed by the law during times of economic downturn. The truth is, the contracts were re-opened in 2009 to take back $650 million in negotiated state employee pay raises and health benefits funding. On top of that, the legislature cut $300 million in contributions to the state employee pension fund. And by July 2010, nearly 5,000 state employees will lose their jobs. All told, state employees have sacrificed more than $1 billion to help recover our economy. When you add up just the additional out-of-pocket health costs that could be paid by 80,000 state employees, that’s an $85 million hit on the economy. That’s $85 million that won’t be spent on goods and services from the private sector to help recover our economy. We realize the Journal is, like all of us, trying to find solutions to our temporary economic crisis. But in doing so, the Journal shouldn’t be taken in by those like the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. It is clear we have reached a defining moment for our generation. We need to raise revenue and close appropriate tax loopholes. There are numerous ways to equitably raise revenue. Similarly, of the $98.5 billion in tax exemptions given in this state, $14.8 billion could easily be eliminated or suspended, according to the state Department of Revenue’s latest report on tax exemptions. That includes tax breaks for: stadiums for the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners; dealers in precious metals and bullion; and condominium maintenance fees.
Tim Welch Director of Public Affairs Washington Federation of State Employees