I am enthusiastic about Langley Water Bond #1056 because of the multiple benefits it brings to our community, citywide. Here are five reasons why I am a firm yes vote on 1056:
1. Stabilization of utility rates. One of the main reasons this mayor and council convened the Langley infrastructure committee was to fulfill a commitment to citizens that they would begin to explore pathways to pay for critical utility infrastructure needs that did not depend on continued steep monthly utility rate increases — which are hard on all of us. If you see the recommended water rate increases proposed for 2020 in the current Water Comprehensive Plan — two scenarios are presented with and without the bond passage — you will see what I mean.
2. Repairing a number of cracked water mains. This year almost 50 percent of drinkable water was lost due to leaks. For every gallon used we have to pump two gallons.
3. Increased fire hydrant flow to communities where this is currently substandard.
4. Bundling multiple projects earns us maximum cost efficiency to accomplish a much needed city-wide series of upgrades. Saving us an estimated 30 percent in costs.
5. We have received $3 million in grant funding contingent on the passage of the bond. There is some “fake news” floating around, including in the opinion pages of this newspaper, such as: “There will be automatic rezoning of properties along new sewer lines.” Fact: There is no such thing as automatic rezoning as a result of sewer line installation; in fact, it is not legal to rezone based on utility upgrades. “Passage of the bond will mean mandatory sewer connections.” Fact: Passage of the bond will not mean mandatory sewer connections. There are no changes to the existing rules that determine sewer hook-up. As my neighbor said recently, “We can’t afford to be short sighted on this issue. If we don’t do it now it will cost all of us more money in the very near future.”