Opinion

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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