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Show fairness toward owners of private wells

Published: Saturday, June 29, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

For the past several months, various articles and editorials have addressed facets of Rock Falls ordinance #2011-2454.

To sum up, the previous administration unethically used EPA remediation orders for multiple sites with extremely limited impact to require 248 tax-paying well owners throughout the city to cease using the wells on their own property for drinking water. 

Already struggling with a dismal economy, they are being asked to shell out more than $250,000 collectively of their own money for the privilege of paying a monthly bill to the city for water they didn’t need or want. Lack of compassion and accountability for this ordinance is deplorable.

Arguments about the water safety are unfounded based on annual well testing conducted by Whiteside County; no wells within the city limits have been found to be tainted.

The city wants to clean up toxic sites. Fine.

The city wants everyone to have healthy water. Fine.

You have to jump through hoops for the Illinois EPA to get it done. Fine.

Those are all activities that benefit the entire citizenry.

While this ordinance itself may have been a small moving part within the machinery around the city’s ongoing issues with the Illinois EPA, why does the cost of that benefit have to be borne by such a small percentage of the residents? 

The current administration has a chance to show a different attitude toward its citizens. Bring the city’s water lines to the homes of those being forced to comply, rather than requiring current well owners to pay now and pay later.

Show some fairness when the city faces big issues and the burden falls to the little guy.

Show some understanding of the economic impact the last 5 years have had on residents.

In other words, show us we made the right choice at the polls in the last election.

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