The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 14, 2013

New facility not needed

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

At the Jan. 8 city council meeting, developers went to twisting arms, insinuating threats and persuading council members to move forward on the North Water Reclamation Facility. They succeeded. The motion committing $250,000 for design and engineering services was passed 7-2.

The proposed $100 million treatment plant, with its 4.5 million gallons per day (mgd) capacity, is now closer to construction. Why are the developers and their pocket council members so persistent on this?

The agricultural lands north and west of town currently are occupied by small farms, ranches and acreages. Most of these areas fall under “Very Low-Density Residential” or anther rural designation. Intense development is not allowed, so there is limited impact on the environment.

However, developers are making strides toward rezoning these areas for higher-density suburbs and commercial developments. Why? More profitable retail playgrounds and PUDs, of course. Their business model is to replace floodplains, wetlands and watersheds with the ancillary feats of environmental engineering and taxpayer-funded reclamation projects.

This type of growth and over-development is a primary cause of the water crisis. Every new acre of impervious surface calls for an engineered solution to corral the natural flow of water into rejoining the water cycle via the “path of most resistance.”

The engineered solutions like the ones NWRF developers have been lobbying for will only make matters worse. Even the developers should be concerned that their vision of growth is nothing less than the gradual annihilation of the natural environment.

Under pressure from state agencies and environmental groups, City leaders have made gestures toward counteracting the destruction by supporting efforts to slow the growth in key areas to a more controllable speed. Developers respond by claiming the city hasn’t squared up on past debts going back for a decade.

It’s like a bookie pulling a shakedown, but instead of breaking thumbs, they’re insinuating threats of electioneering schemes and lawsuits. If the city won’t allow them to build whatever they want, wherever they please, they say they’ll just “take their business elsewhere.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014