August 21, 2000
CARNATION--Amid some continuing controversy over whether the city needs a sewage system, the City Council last week agreed to move forward with the proposal, directing city staff to prepare a final sewer comprehensive plan.
The council based its decision on the recommendations of American Engineering, which did the consulting work on the plan, and the Sewer Advisory Committee. The council also moved to unanimously agree to recognize the community and environmental benefits of a sewage treatment system.
During last week's meeting, although some residents expressed opposition to the plan or called for a public vote, over half who spoke said the town needs sewers to continue to be viable as a community and to protect those who have property that may be at risk of septic system failure.
Former Mayor Dave Hunter said he expressed support for the work of the Sewer Advisory Committee and American Engineering.
"I think they have done an excellent job and that the grinder technology proposed is in the best interests of the residents," he said. "I have seen the continued frustration with the lack of flexibility downtown. There is so much vacant property. The Brown Bag is empty and they can't rebuild. People have to travel outside of the area to get things they can't get here."
But retired resident Chuck Schroeder said he feared that sewers would result in the city no longer being the peaceful, small town that people enjoy.
"I like the city small," he said. "With sewers, we will end up with high-density development. I would like to see the town kept small, quiet, and peaceful."
Councilmember Stuart Lisk noted, however, that Carnation is limited by its natural boundaries.
"This is a flood zone and we are bordered by rivers," he said. "I think overall the city would benefit from sewers. There are too many people with aging systems."
Sewer Advisory Committee member Laurie Clinton agreed.
"There is a need for people to understand that failing systems can put people, animals, and groundwater at risk," she told the council."But people are leery of embracing a project without a firm price. I want to let people know there are grants available and the outlook for Carnation is good."
The final sewer plan will be reviewed at a council workshop on September 12.