Letters to the Editor

Gravel pit not wanted

Island County’s public notice regarding Krieg Construction’s application to begin a gravel mining operation from the property on the south side of Sawmill Road and east of Taylor Road for extraction of sand and gravel was published Dec. 19 in the Whidbey News-Times. This notice stated that our public comments of environmental concern regarding this proposal must be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m., Jan. 2, 2002, to the Island Community Development Office, P.O. Box 5000, Coupeville, Washington 98239.

Of major concern is the environmental impact this project will have on the public welfare of those of us who reside within the close surrounding communities. What will be the long-term effect of this proposed extraction on the aquifer that feeds our private and community drinking water systems? If extraction causes contamination of our water supply, would it be too late to rectify the damage? What of the damage caused to the roadways and the safety issues of large truck traffic that will be used to haul sand and gravel up and down Taylor and Sleeper Roads? What of the school buses that frequent the roads during the school year and the bicyclists who use Taylor Road for their tours during the summer months, and the local citizens who jog, walk and travel this road on a daily basis?

Island County maintenance already uses the land just west of Taylor Road to extract raw materials and store less desirable looking fill dirt. These trucks create a mess on Taylor Road, dragging mud and other dirty materials onto the road; which is especially dangerous during our wet months. If this proposed project by Krieg Construction is approved, there will be a significant increase in the volume of dangerous heavy truck traffic on Taylor Road.

What of the potential tax implications to property values of this sand and gravel extraction project so close to all of our homes? It can only follow that the presence of another “gravel pit” will have a negative impact on our property values and thus reduce the property tax base for Island County.

If you value the safety of your children and yourself, the quality of your drinking water and life, and the value of your property, take pen in hand and send your comments to the Island County Community Development Office by Jan. 2, 2002. Please take a minute and let our representatives know we don’t want this extraction project to go forward in our community.

TONI LEBEL-EDMONS lives in Oak Harbor.

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