Langley Council asked to go slow on sewers

"Members of the Langley City Council promised a vocal Edgecliff Drive resident Wednesday night that they will not formulate a sanitary sewer plan before they find out exactly what sort of sewer city residents want.Poised to begin researching proposed extensions of the city's sewer system, the council found itself being asked to keep the pace of its plans slow to allow residents to comment on a project that will cost dozens of city homeowners up to $20,000 apiece in sewer assessments. Debbie Holbert, an Edgecliff Drive resident, said she does not want a complete sewer plan presented to the public without an extensive commentary process. She said that is what happened when the city expanded its sewer system in the late 1980s. Moments before Holbert made her comments, the council voted to direct city staff to write up a history lesson about Langley's existing sewer system and its sewer ordinance. Council member Bill Hawkins said council members need that lesson in their hands as they try to design sewer extensions for Edgecliff Drive and a portion of First Street. Holbert said the discussion should go no further without public involvement.We want to be involved, she said. Our comments need to be addressed now.Council members Ray Honerlah and Neil Colburn said the sewer planning process has been open and will be open in the future. They encouraged Holbert to attend sewer extension committee meetings and city council meetings. Colburn said that at this point there is little to talk about, since the city has not searched for engineers or funding.I have no reason to avoid you, except I have nothing to tell you, Colburn said.Colburn noted that the council has kept Langley residents informed about the planning process. Sewer extension committee members sponsored an open forum addressing sewer issues last fall.Colburn said he agreed with Holbert that the city needs more public input this time around than it took when it expanded the sewer system last time.Hopefully we can handle it better this time, he said. "

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