Letters to the Editor

Nothing to show for Bainbridge's storm water studies | Letters | May 7

Instead of actually cleaning up storm water, the City Council recently approved yet another $215,000 consultant contract to simply monitor a stream and pull water samples.

Although having far more storm water staffing then any city under 25,000 in Washington State, the city’s Public Works Department claimed they were too understaffed to do the sampling. So ratepayers will now be paying $148 an hour to a consultant to take water samples and send it on to a testing lab. It’s all utility money... the city just raises the rates every year.

There now exists at least 121 separate COBI documented water sampling studies and projects. The city had so many by 2005 that it hired contractors to read them, make some sense of them, and place them in an extensive library. And the city has continued major studies since 2005. The massive data accumulation has resulted in virtually no substantive actual corrective action.

Over the years, millions and millions of dollars for data, Very little cleaned up. This new and unnecessary contractor effort will not clean up one single drop of water going into Puget Sound.

Meanwhile, our storm drains and filters remain filthy and less than 10 percent of our surface and storm water fees are actually used for capital projects to help fish passage or clean up water going into Puget Sound.

Other jurisdictions spend far less money and actually clean up problem water. Here, the city and council are focused on spending money and recording numbers.

The mantra on the council is that the public demands high water standards. What the public deserves and should demand is intelligent leadership to actually produce results in cleaner water for the millions that is being spent.

Write your City Council members and tell them to use storm water funds to actually clean up some water sometime in the near future... not just pay the all too willing consultants who make far too much money gathering yet more data for our already stunningly large water data base.

Bainbridge is wasting environmental clean-up money every day and the council is not giving the issue any intelligent thought.

Robert Dashiell

Bainbridge Island

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