When I joined the Comp Plan Update Committee years ago I went in with an agenda to insure property owners in the Lake Auburn watershed would be fairly represented. I am one of them and I am quite happy the City went out of their way to listen to our concerns. The plan reflects many concerns addressed and I also want to thank Mr. John Storer for his sincere consideration. As this process comes to an end, my agenda is the same.
As we continue with the City Council input phase I still see one huge deficit in the proposed plan. Insuring that Auburn, as a city, has the option to choose how it meets the water compliance program. Specifically our waiver of filtration from the Clean Water Act may no longer be the cost effective way. As you all know our city water is unlike 97% of other municipalities because it is not filtered. Allowing for that option in the plan is the appropriate thing to do because be honest here, HOW MUCH DO YOU REALLY UNDERSTAND OF THE PROCESS to deliver water quality and WHAT DOES IT COST THE TAXPAYER today is yet to be determined. A new study by LAWPC indicates many recommendations with a NO COST label to them, but the cost(s) exist and watershed property owners and general tax payers are footing the bill for what they would only use if they were in a public facility.
Here is an easy example. My septic system cost 40 grand when it would have cost 10 grand if it were located anywhere else outside the Lake Auburn watershed. I new this going in, but the state has since confirmed my septic effluent is not being treated appropriately for our critical watershed...
Why did the CPUC not consider filtering water? Mr. Norm Lamie informed the committee over two years ago it would cost 52 million and millions to operate yearly. He was using a 2005 number that was a gross misrepresentation to what it cost today, Auburn's share would be under 4 million. Subsequently the CPUC had the erroneous figure removed from the footnote in the plan but nothing was done to insure the plan indicated COST EFFECTIVE water delivery options, like membrane filtration.
Please, as we move forward take a few minutes and ask yourself what harm it would cause this community to keep watershed regulations at bay, using water quality data to measure effectiveness of any changes, and endorse the comp plan to the other methods of compliance available to Auburn.
At work for a fair watershed,
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