LETTER | Surface Water Management

The last time I checked, our money, approximately one million dollars, goes to the County for flood control in the Kent valley of which we only get back 10% ($100,000) for surface water management.. Most of Kirkland’s allocation for regional funding does not benefit Kirkland. I think the current amount is not justified. But the district goes after the big money in cities to fund its needs. Just think the improvements that could be made to Kirkland’s surface water management if we didn't have to give away all that money for someone else’s benefit. The problem with flooding in Totem Lake could have been fixed by now.

Since the County and cities around the Kent valley benefit the most with their 7 ground water pumps running 24/7, they need to step up to the plate and cover most if not all of the cost. Kirkland will be far better off.

As far as an individual property owner’s benefits vs. City benefits, why should properties that are not part of the problem have to pay for surface water management in other districts? Cost varies for drainage district improvements with some costing more than others. Why do we subsidize properties than should have not been developed due to flooding or costly flood control measures? Each district should cover their own cost in their district without subsidies from other districts.

For many years, the city required property owners to install oil-silt separators to prevent surface water pollution, but not city facilities. The requirement did not apply to everyone equally, especially the city..

Properties in flood prone areas should not be developed especially unless they are flood-proofed or it requires mega-bucks to prevent flooding. If culverts are installed that get plugged during storms and the city fails to clear the drain, the city will probably be found at fault. We should not become another New Orleans that failed to maintain public facilities. It will become an unnecessary expense to the taxpayer.

When it comes to surface water, there are many issues that need to be identified: quality, quantity, natural direction of flow and the consequences if changed, and the source of flow and destination including seasonal changes.

Each surface water district cost should be paid for by those in their district that is e part of the problem. Those that are not part of the problem should not be taxed. Their SWM on their tax bill should be near zero if not zero.

Robert L. Style