Letter: Water infrastructure bond is well thought out

A recent letter to The Record from the head of the “con” committee asserts that the water bond is not well thought through, while speculating on how a replacement infrastructure could be done at less cost without sewer lines in East Langley.

The simple fact is that major projects involving city wide repairs, upgrades and improvements require a tremendous amount of planning, coordination and funding. This endeavor, underway for over the past year and a half, has involved Langley citizens, city government, engineering and public works. All of these groups have worked together to identify immediate and future needs, along with solutions, plans and responsible ways to pay for it. The result is a thoughtful, well laid-out plan with sufficient engineering research, cost analysis and details from experts to confidently proceed forward with a proposal to the voters. Combined with a grant that covers 40% of the costs, the proposal provides and excellent opportunity for the residents of Langley to fix major issues and plan for the future.

My take is that on balance, the levy bond serves Langley well.

1. It addresses the condition of current water, sewer, and storm systems that require urgent action; much of the existing infrastructure is based on deteriorating pipes laid into the ground more than a half century ago.

2. It provides sewer availability to a sector of Langley that invested in the treatment plant; while it does not force anyone to hook up until their circumstances warrant.

3. It also addresses environmental responsibility and how we manage our water supply, wastewater and stormwater runoff. Stormwater management is a big step towards mitigation of bluff erosion. The subterranean water flow should also be addressed, but it is not the focus of the bond. In my humble opinion, to dismiss surface water runoff and claim septic systems have little to no effect on the environment ignores the fundamental reality that water and waste flow down hill.

The infrastructure improvements are for the benefit of all Langley residents throughout the city, both immediately and for decades to come. I don’t believe it was ever intended to serve a special niche’ group, nor should it be.

We should move ahead with the levy now and not delay replacing a deteriorating infrastructure. We should be laying down the necessary foundations to keep our drinking water safe, our utilities reliable and our rates stabilized.

Jim Dobberfuhl, Chair PRO Committee, Langley Water System Bonds

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