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City open to alternatives, but not at taxpayers’ expense

 

Last week, the Brookings City Council rejected a request by a Eugene developer to allow an alternative sewer system for a proposed 59-home development along the Chetco River.

In doing so, however, the city didn’t shut the door completely on exploring other alternatives to traditional gravity sewer systems – as long as it doesn’t place a significant financial burden – now or in the future – on the city.

That the city council said there was merit to the developer’s proposal was refreshing, as was it to see a developer exploring alternative ways to handle waste water. This is particularly important for any development along or near the Chetco River, the main water source for Brookings and Harbor residents.

Developer Ron Tribble, who wants to sell lots on land he owns in the first half-mile east of the Chetco River bridge, said the cost of installing a traditional sewer system was prohibitive. That may be so, that’s not the city’s problem.

Tribble’s alternative system may be cheaper up front for him, but ultimately it would be operated and maintained by the city, at taxpayers’ expense. 

We applaud the city for taking a long-term approach to making its decision, which no doubt was discouraging for the developer – and two nearby RV park owners who hope to expand their operations. However, it was encouraging to see the council direct its staff to consider a combination of the two sewer system, or find money to help the developer with infrastructure costs.

As Mayor Larry Anderson said, it show the city is willing to work with the people living and wanting to build along the north bank of the river.

That’s a spirit of cooperation we can support.

 

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