Clean, abundant, and affordable water is a foundation of all successful civilizations. As a member of the City Council, I will be absolutely committed to maintaining each of these pillars.
The existing Ferndale Wastewater Treatment plant is undersized per Washington regulation and must increase its capacity. The City has chosen to pursue an extended aeration design. During my time at BP, I worked for approximately 7 years leading or supporting Environmental, Process Engineering, Operations, Maintenance, and Project teams at an extended aeration facility. I also spent multiple years managing the budget for this facility. If elected, this experience makes me uniquely qualified to advocate for cost efficiency on behalf of Ferndale residents who care about minimizing their water and sewer rates. I am excited to put my talents to work for you in this space.
I recognize that your water bill is at or near the top of your list of Ferndale concerns. This is especially true for lower-income and fixed-income residents. Ferndale is currently in the process of securing a new deep-aquifer well and securing funding for a Wastewater Treatment facility upgrade. These projects are necessary for the long-term sustainability of our city infrastructure and must be paid for as part of our rates. As a result, our rates are projected to increase in the near-term. Although by law general funds cannot be utilized for utility costs, I will look for ways to minimize other taxes/fees with the goal of off-setting the utility rate increases.
The city is committed to a long term goal of securing the water rights of the deep water aquifer under Ferndale. Establishing these water rights and utilizing this source of water resolve multiple issues of concern: 1) The current aquifer levels are decreasing each year. Although there is an expectation that the level will stabilize, leaders must plan for an alternative. Hope is not a plan. 2) Ferndale will have a long-term independent supply of groundwater, alleviating the concern of growth beyond capacity. 3) Mandatory water restrictions can be alleviated. The current growth rate and promotion of growth is counter to the mandatory water restrictions. This mixed messaging is both concerning and frustrating. I look forward to ending the mixed messaging.