Letter to the Editor: Purchase of mine site has negative impacts
December 2, 2010 · Updated 12:00 PM
I think there is another way of looking at this Glacier settlement, perhaps not as rosy as the current view. Consider:
This property will now be removed from the property tax roll. King County derives much of its budget from property taxes. Reducing our tax base reduces our ability to fund these services.
The ability to employ members of our community has been eliminated. Currently our state and local economy suffers from an underemployed population: Tax revenues and consumer spending from the non-employed amounts to zero.
We have eliminated any possibility of actually producing a needed commodity. Instead of local production of gravel, we have to import. Importing gravel carries a huge carbon footprint.
Most of our gravel is coming from mines in Canada, so in addition to the large carbon footprint, we are also contributing to a negative cash flow in our trade deficit.
In the 10 years that this glacial Glacier battle has been going on this community, Vashon-Maury Island has been severely polluting the Sound — via our storm drain runoff. Had we invested the money that it will take to buy-out Glacier, we could have invested in up-grading our storm drains. This would have eliminated much of the pollution we now contribute to the Sound.
Our contribution to pollution extends also to the whole of King County. In these past 10 years King County has dumped one million gallons of raw sewage into the Sound annually. This pollution is directly related to storm drain overflow. Again, had we invested the money it will take to buy this chunk of property from Glacier, we could have upgraded our county-wide storm drain system and perhaps done more to protect the Sound.
If this community wants to give itself a gold star for “protecting” the Sound with this Glacier purchase, be my guest. But I see it another way.
— A.T. Rack