On the Nov. 5 ballot, Langley voters will be asked to decide on a $4-million Langley water system bond added to property taxes. This bond will pay for a bit more than half of an infrastructure plan totaling $7 million, which was developed by Langley utility management staff and city council members.
The other $3 million will come from an Island County Rural Counties Development grant. The county stipulated that the grant is conditional on Langley voting favorably on the bond.
Langley’s utilities have deteriorated considerably over recent decades. We still have 60-year-old asbestos/cement water mains. Numerous aging sewer pipes leak inwards so our plant treats ground and storm water as well as sewage. We, the community of Langley, can choose to be pro-active or reactive.
The cost of being pro-active implements a relatively small property tax increase, improves water quality and reliability, and stabilizes water utility rates. If we choose to be reactive, then we will be forced to pay steep rates and take out emergency loans as the aging system continues to deteriorate and fail unexpectedly, affecting water, sewer and storm drain systems.
By integrating projects, contractors will minimize roadway interruptions and save about 30 percent. The infrastructure plan also finally adds sewer service hookup options to East Langley decades after residents paid their share for the sewer treatment plant. These upgrades will provide Langley with a solid, reliable infrastructure base for the future and add a pedestrian walkway to sixth street.
Langley won’t soon have another opportunity to catch up on utility system deficits with close to half the cost coming from a grant. I and my fellow members of the “YES” Committee on Langley water bonds urge you to consider an affirmative vote. We need 60 percent of citizens voting, so please do vote, and vote “yes.” The Village by the Sea needs you.
Jim Dobberfuhl, Chair, YES Committee, Langley Water Bonds