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More questions than answers on proposed water project

I am a Solon resident, tax payer and voter. I’m asking why the Council is in a hurry to vote on this Gallery Acres West (GAW) project. We don’t even know the exact proposal, let alone the costs. I feel Council is irresponsible towards us. I’m afraid this is about money and development. We have a right to all information– ­legal opinions, cost/benefit studies– that Council has. If this information doesn’t exist, please tell us that, and WHY it doesn’t exist. I understand we paid $7,000 recently for a consultant to look at parking downtown. This water project is enormous and we know very little about the costs and impact, it seems.
I fear Council will vote on Dec. 6 and commit our future to this project, working out the details later. The Q and A Solon put on their Facebook page doesn’t even identify who’s speaking for the utilities committee. They tell us the loan to GAW is 75 percent forgivable and “uncapped.” Does that mean they’re getting more money? Last year GAW got $75,000 for “planning” and this year approval for $1.04 million for the water main. That is roughly 1/12 of the total available DWSRF money given to Iowa in the whole year of 2016. Why are 14 houses getting so much money? Why did so many DNR officials show up at Council on GAW’s behalf on Oct. 24 for a development in violation of federal arsenic standards for 15 years?
I worry that Solon sees this as a chance to get a cheap water main for development west of town­– North Liberty style. Are we next looking for sewer line grants and talking annexation?
The last Q and A says Council “won’t let this raise our water bills.” It’s our whole water supply and infrastructure we’re worried about­– our taxes, new wells, legal obligations, public works staffing. Remember this Council assured us the “research” wouldn’t cost us anything. Almost two years later, that is not the case. Let’s add it up. We have reason to be cautious about this whole water project.
For the record, I attended the Oct. 24 informational council meeting, and came away with more questions than answers and I have water quality experience from working in dialysis at the University of Iowa for 15 years. I continue to see new housing developments grow in the Solon area, and wonder what our water future holds.
Patty O’Brien
Solon