Citizen Speaks about Gee Creek

Tevis Laspa read the following at the City Council meeting tonight. I think it bears repeating for those who weren’t there.

“I am writing to address the harmful effects of untreated storm waters on Gee Cree and its wildlife, and to request the City to effectively and economically treat storm water before an anticipated State mandate requires Ridgefield to do so.  This would help preserve Gee Creek and would reflect Ridgefield’s commitment to protect our environment.

Ridgefield does not treat  storm waters in “old town” Ridgefield.  As a result, run-off from heavy rains which contain pollutants such as oils, grease, antifreeze, and dog feces,  run directly into Gee Creek.  While Gee Creek has proven to be resilient, its population of Coho and Coastal Cutthroat trout are low.  The water level in Gee Creek is also low at this time of year, and thus does not dilute storm water pollutants as it did when it contains more water in the winter.

As you know, Ridgefield has a population of 7,500 and is the fastest growing city in the State of Washington.  When the population reaches 10,000, the State Department of Ecology will require Ridgefield to treat its storm water.   I am asking you not to wait, but rather to proactively ensure that our waters remain clean.

Last year I worked with Public Works Director Tim Shell to help locate a piece of property suitable for building a treatment facility.  Heidi Johnson said she would be willing to sell a piece of property to the city for a storm water facility, and that she  wanted to short plat her property.   I understood that the City would pursue a loan from the Department of Ecology to build a facility, but have since learned that the plan was changed.   While there may be other properties available to treat the storm waters in old town Ridgefield, I was dismayed to learn that the pipe line that emerges at 4th and Division is to be expanded in size without storm water treatment.

I am urging the city to expedite  building facilities for treating stormwater going into  Gee Creek, and help preserve this precious asset.”

Thanks

Tevis Laspa, 932 N. Main Ave.

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