Winslow Way discussions becoming more logical | Letters | April 23
April 23, 2010 · Updated 10:04 AM
I am relieved to see that, finally, after years of contentious debate, some sanity appears to have crept into the discussion of fixing the sewer pipes underneath Winslow Way.
You may remember this project started as a small infrastructure problem and almost instantly ballooned into a $100 million taxpayer-funded redevelopment scheme. After a lot of debate and vociferous objection by many, and even a lawsuit thrown in the mix, city staff have finally come up with a proposal to fix the sewer pipes that looks reasonable. And it will only cost around $5.5 million (of course, this number ignores the many hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars already spent on this project). One has to wonder why it took so long, and why so much blood had to be spilled to get to this point, as well as where this proposal was a year and a half ago when we were being told by the staff that the bare-bones repairs would cost $14 million! Despite all the unanswerable questions, let’s just hope that this proposal is indicative of the way things will work at City Hall from now on.
As for the proposal, now all that’s left is for the property owners who stand to benefit from the repairs and infrastructure upgrades to pony up a reasonable share of the funds (water and sewer capacity will be increased in the new pipes thus allowing taller buildings on their sites). I hope they can agree that it’s now or never, and that if they want their sewer and water pipes brought up to code, they need to come to the table with their checkbooks in hand.
Amazingly, at least one council person, Barry Peters, still objects to having those that benefit the most pay their fair share. He claims that somehow doing this will hurt us all, yet he offers no constructive alternative. I agree with Deputy Planning Director Chris Wierzbicki that whatever the next decision out of the council is on this matter, it needs to be unanimous. Mr. Wierzbicki has presented us with a good proposal (which, by the way, cost us another $87,000 to have worked up). I urge the council to work out the funding details of this proposal, get the property owners to pitch in, and come to agreement on this as soon as possible.
Eagle Harbor Drive