Randi Shade’s statements on Water Treatment Plant No. 4 in the Michael King interview last week contain several false assertions that she should know are not true [“'An Independent Person,'
” News, June 3]. Opposition to WTP4 was never about opposing growth. All of the many groups opposing the plant have argued, with facts to back it up, that we have plenty of treatment capacity on the ground now to handle growth for many years to come. Spending hundreds of millions now – over a billion dollars counting interest – will force skyrocketing water rates for zero benefit to anyone except the contractors building the plant – and the politicians whose campaigns they bankroll.
Shade and WTP4 supporters ignore the fact that we just completed a 67-million-gallon-per-day expansion to the Ullrich Water Treatment Plant in 2007 at a cost of $85 million. Immediately starting WTP4 at 50 MGD and more than $600 million in cost is nothing short of a shameful rip-off of water ratepayers, both residents and businesses.
Keeping water rates affordable, especially for small businesses and lower-income residents, is important for economic growth and social equity; building a plant we don’t need at an exorbitant cost hurts our economy and those who can least afford it. And that's before you even talk about the immeasurable environmental damage the plant will cause.