The Norman Transcript

Opinion

June 12, 2012

Naming the First Pig

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

The sweeping powers and areas of influence referred to in Susan Laird’s June 3 letter, are found in Article 4, “Purposes of the Trust.” As was pointed out at the Public Hearing, these proposed powers are so broad as to allow almost any type of “unspecified project.” This kind of “boilerplate” language is well know by Oklahomans by the familiar term used by Ben Alpers at City Council, “a pig in a poke.”

I suspect that should the City Council pass this new Trust Indenture, one of the first “pigs” it produces will make about as much sense as a Northside Waste Water Treatment Plant, long desired by the development community in order to allow the build-out of hundreds of acres in the north east part of Norman in the Lake Thunderbird watershed.

Indeed, the Development Council is currently negotiating with the city in an effort to take $6 million in sewer funds away from the existing Southside plant budget and use it to start a Northside plant. Never mind that the City will pay a fine of $10,000 per day, if we do not fix the Southside plant. Developers are essentially saying, “Let the taxpayers pay higher than necessary utility rates in order to make up that $6 million.”

This assault on our already stressed water supplies — plus more polluted runoff into Lake Thunderbird caused by miles of more concrete, asphalt, traffic, and trash, plus the burden of hundreds more houses and fertilized lawns - will likely destroy any chance of getting the lake off the “impaired” list and healthy again. In addition, the talk of allowing the Northside sewer plant effluent to drain into the lake is not only outrageous, it is illegal, according to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the EPA.

Lake Thunderbird, which is about 75 percent of our city’s water supply, is “on life support” according to the engineers and professionals who have studied the lake.

Find council members’ phone numbers at the City of Norman website www.ci.norman.ok.us/cityclerk/city-council and tell them to vote NO.

MARY FRANCIS

Norman

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