Sewer need is obvious

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Carnation is currently grappling with the need for a sewer system, a problem many rural communities are facing. But is Carnation really rural anymore? Can the current business and residential

core maintain a city? Can the city survive without sewers?

For the business community, a sewer system is a must. It's obvious in

the downtown corridor that the combination of high rents and lack of

expansion opportunities are a major problem. King County agrees, citing the city's

proximity to the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers, as well as the high water table

and flood potential.

Several concerns were raised about the economic impact and the need

for the community to vote on the proposal. The want of a vote likely stems

from everyone's desire to have their say. Well, the community had their say

when they elected the Carnation city councilmembers to their positions. They

are the representative body, so why not let them do their job and facilitate what

is best for the community? There is a process for public hearings, much like

the one last week, and it is likely that most of the councilmembers are very in

tune with the concerns of their constituents.

But the need for sewers is much larger than just the small community

of Carnation. The Snohomish River basin, of which the Snoqualmie is a part,

is one of the largest fish-bearing basins in the state. And, if I recall, there is

this thing called the Endangered Species Act, which will start to influence

how many of our natural waterways will be protected and regulated. Sewers

for communities in the Snohomish River Basin would seem to be a natural

first step toward protection.

Regardless of the environmental impacts are the impacts to local

businesses. Yes, maybe the city could survive without sewers, but the

business community will not grow without them. To those who think the business

community doesn't need to grow, great. Then shut down the city functions,

allow all of the tasks now performed by the city to go back to the county and

allow your voice in local politics to become the King County Council. Then all

permitting, regulations and other government functions will take as long to

happen as they do in county-governed areas now.

Sewers are the right way to go; they will contribute to the economic

viability of the community, and they will protect the natural resources

surrounding the community. The short-term economic impacts will quickly be

outweighed by the potential damages if they are not developed.

Jim McKiernan

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