Letters to the Pilot

Monday, October 21, 2002

Storm Lake are you listening?


The Storm Lake City Council is about to make a decision Monday, October 21, that has the potential of a perilous outcome for the entire city. The city is planning to commit to an approximate six million dollar update and expansion of our water plant for water needs primarily needed for the two large corporate meat processing industries in our community.

Who is going to pay for this indebtedness? Hopefully, we all are, but this is the risk the council is about to take with absolutely no contingency plan. Every water user in this community has noticed a recent water rate increase, which over a period of 15 years, is estimated to pay for the update and expansion costs. However, what happens if only one of those large corporations decides they can conduct business more profitably somewhere else? The estimate given is water rates would double and taxes would increase at least 10 percent.

Councilperson Vaudt is 100 percent on target that this risk is too great to chance in today's corporate environment for a small community where expenses can only be levied on a few people. Blue Bird told Mt. Pleasant they would never leave. Maytag is going to Mexico. Yonkers is leaving Des Moines. The current corporate environment increased relocation odds to more than "Lotto Ticket" odds.

Now is not the time to be complacent as these big corporations are putting our community's infrastructure at potential risk. Please attend the city council meeting on Monday, October 21, at 5 p.m. and encourage the council to find an alternative to complete this project without placing the community at risk.

Thomas J. McClinton,

Storm Lake