Letters to the Editor

Gravel pit: County, Krieg appear too close

Dugualla Community, Inc., and members of Taylor Road Residents Against More Pits (TRAMPS), incorrectly believed that Island County Public Works was not paying its entire share of engineering costs related to an application to expand the use of their surface mine off of Taylor and Sawmill roads.

This belief was based on a misinterpretation of the comment “It’s kind of a joint venture” made by Dick Snyder, Island County engineer, in the Jan.12 edition of the Whidbey News-Times. We submitted a Public Disclosure Act request on Jan. 14 to determine how much Island County Public Works was paying for the study.

The initial response to our request did not provide all the information requested. In a follow-up response, dated Feb. 22, Island County Public Works states, “Inadvertently all costs were invoiced to Krieg Construction …” For the BEK Engineering study, however, that would be corrected.

We wonder if this error would have been identified and corrected if the Public Disclosure Act request had not been submitted.

Island County Public Works states, “There is no operating agreement … between Island County Public Works and Krieg Construction,” in their response of Feb. 22, however, as stated by Dick Snyder, “It’s kind of a joint venture.”

The Consultant Fee Determination-Summary Sheet, Exhibit D-1, provided to us with the Feb. 22 letter from Island County, shows distinct cost sharing based on acreage and ownership, indicating there is certainly some level of joint venture, even if not formalized in a written agreement.

We are concerned about this relationship because Krieg Construction, Inc., is a contractor doing business with Island County Public Works and a relationship this close does not appear to be in the public interest. It may only be the appearance of a conflict of interest, but appearances are very important.

Bob Edmons

president,

Dugualla Community, Inc.

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