Won't sign petition

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Dear Editor,

I have to disagree with Phil Lyons on his comment in the McCook Gazette on June 20.

He said he believes "the citizens of McCook can make just as good an educated guess as the City Council can with the information they have received throughout the past 15 years of water problems."

I was on the water advisory committee and missed just one meeting. Olsson Associates did not present a lot of information at the meetings and many times the meetings were nothing more than gripe sessions. Yet the "Water Advisory Committee" seems to be used to denote a learned body. We were not even told about the diesel spill by the water storage tank and that it needed to be moved.

Most people I have talked to do not know very much about the current water system that some want to keep. They do not know where the wells are, how old they are, how deep they are, where the water comes from and where it is pumped to.

Also there is a lot of technical information which makes a general vote by the public difficult. I have attended several council meetings dealing with the water issue and found them to be informative with the current council seeming to have done their homework.

A treatment plant is expensive to build, expensive to operate, expensive to maintain and expensive to dispose of the contaminants, such as uranium and arsenic.

These problems have never been presented to the public in detail. Also, the water that goes into the system will not all be treated. As I understand the plan, the city would treat some of the water and then blend it with untreated water to get under the Maximum Contaminant Level. Before I could vote for treatment, there would need to be DOLLARS explained and how good the water would be.

The "Let's hurry up and wait and maybe it will get better" attitude that infects this issue will not solve our water problems. I listened to the presentation by Miller & Associates and W Design at the council meeting and believe that this is the best plan for McCook. The past 15 years has not been very smart with "stop-gap" solutions to the present well field.

I would rather pay $20 a month extra for a new field with deep wells than $35 extra a month for blended treatment from the old for the rest of my life. (These numbers were presented to the City Council by the engineering firms.)

Do not ask me to sign the referendum.

Roger Wilson,


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