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December 8, 1997

Opinion

No quadrupling of assessment

  All taxpayers should leave a message on the King county Council's 24-hour Hotline (206-296-1688) that there should be no quadrupling of the King Conservation District's assessment that appears on the tax statements of almost everyone in King County, including Seattle and Bellevue property owners. The Conservation District programs were originally set up to help farmers control field erosion and flooding, and then later publicized to assist farmers in fencing livestock away from streams to protect fish. The idea now is to allocate to the the King Conservation District only 20% of the total increased assessment and allocate 80% to funding fish habitat. Wouldn't it be great if the taxing authorities could as easily raise money for Emergency Medical Service funding as they do for fish?
  
   The ironic aspect of using Conservation District money for fish is that the instream logs and rootwads installed to enhance fish habitat lead to diverted floodwaters that erode streambanks around the installed instream debris, and exacerbate the flooding and sediment deposition which by law, the Conservation District is assigned to cure.
   The County Council hearing on this assessment increase is Monday, Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 1001 of the County Courthouse. Call council members now and attend the hearing on the 15th if possible.
   Maxine Keesling,
   Woodinville