Letters to the Editor

County plans: West Beach Road trail unwanted

In July the residents of the south end of West Beach Road received a notice of a meeting advising of a road construction project to put shoulders on a section of the road beginning at Van Dam and ending at Libbey Road. The county already owns adequate property for this expansion, ranging from 7 to 40 feet wide, running along both sides of the the road.

Everyone knew this project had been planned for years, so there would appear to be no complaint. Then the county told us, not asked us, they were now going to take an additional 6.76 acres of property to put in a walking trail. The trail would be approximately one-and-a-half miles long. It would not connect with a present or even future planned trail. The plan offers no fences to separate private property from walkers, no sanitary facilities, or parking. We were told maintenance and security would be our problem.

Three of the acres are now used for farming. Our farms are being gobbled up every day. Who is going to feed us in the future? Along the trail three storm ponds will be built. Anyone next to one of these can describe them, chain link fence around a hole filled with garbage from heavy winds and careless walkers and travelers, noxious weeds and a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The Aug. 17 front page of the Everett Herald contained an article reprinted from the Washington Post, “Storm ponds may boost West Nile risk,” identifying potential health hazards from such ponds.

Why here? Someone at the courthouse surely knows but has not provided an answer. The rest of West Beach has used road shoulders for walking and biking. Why put in an unnecessary section of trail? I would estimate the cost at a million or more due to property acquisition and construction. Don’t you think this is a waste when we are being told we have to cut expenditures?

Whether this money is coming from the county, state or federal government, it is coming from our pockets (yours and mine). Only a few would reap benefits from this project that would ruin farmland, destroy trees and landscaping, create untenable driveway safety problems, decrease property values, create health and safety concerns and be just plain ugly.

Remember this boondoggle will spend your tax dollars. What things will you have to give up to pay for this? Write or call your commissioners and let them know this is not where you want your dollars spent. Write to 502 N. Main Street, Coupeville, WA 98239; or e-mail mikes@co.island.wa.us, macm@co.island.wa.us, billt@co.island.wa.us.

Betty Walker


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