The upcoming election for 4 Oak Harbor City Council members is going to be very important to the citizens. In this post I will outline some of the issues that we currently have with our planned septic treatment facility or Clean Water Facility to highlight why we have a City Council that consistently makes the wrong choices for Oak Harbor and why many members of the current Council need to be replaced with new blood in the Council.
We have a plan on the table by the current City Council that has not been thought through and will cost the citizens of our community dearly.
1- Plan was rushed.
The current plan was rushed though the council, several recommendations were made to take the time to do this right and all of those attempts were rebuffed by the Council.
There was a recommendation made to put the engineering of this sewage treatment plant out for a competitive bid. The Council refused and instead chose an engineering firm solely on the basis that it would take another 3 month to put this out for bid. They chose the engineering firm that the city has used for the last several years and that has consistently given the city the most expensive options.
2- Council acted in haste.
We have a sewage treatment plant that will cost the ratepayers in the city 92.5 million dollars. Comparable sewage treatment plants in other communities have cost substantially less but then again these other cities were not in haste to hire an engineering firm and get the project moving at all costs. Most cities are concerned with the eventual costs that are placed on the ratepayers, the citizens of the community. The Oak Harbor Council has acted in haste and you are almost guaranteed to see a sewage rate that will be up to 3 times what the residents are currently paying.
3- Funded solely on the backs of the ratepayers.
No effort has been made by the Council to look for grant funding for this facility. Other communities have done their due diligence to look for and apply for grant funding that is available from the state and the federal government to help communities like ours keep the costs to the citizens down to acceptable levels. In Oak Harbor our City Council is relying solely upon the ratepayers to fund this costly endeavor and no grant funding has been researched and applied for up to this point. No wonder our septic treatment rates will be increased 3 fold.
4- Alternate less costly locations were ignored.
Location location location. We have seen several options presented to the Council on the location of the new sewage facility. Instead of looking at the least costly alternative the Council has chosen to locate the facility on Pioneer Way directly in our business district center. This will more than likely involve condemnation proceedings to purchase this property and the cost to the ratepayers will certainly be high. Retail and Commercial property is some of the most expensive property in our city and there were several other options including buying currently for sale property out of the city center to build this plant on but it was again hastily rejected by the Council.
We have a City Council that does not have the best interests of the citizens when making decisions that will directly effect those citizens. We need to look at other alternatives to our present Council. Anyone could do a better job than those that we have so I encourage you to look at a few of the new candidates for the Oak Harbor City Council. Please take the time to look at a few of these new candidates as replacements: