Letter: Solon must not compromise its water supply

Gallery Acres West homeowners association president thinks Solon has an “ethical” duty to hook them to our water, solving their arsenic problem. Snyder Engineering, their paid consultant/lobbyist, suggests a growth Ponzi scheme to recoup our losses.

Ethical issues abound, but they’re not Solon’s. Gallery Acres West failed to act for 15 years because they “didn’t want the expense.” The Department of Natural Resources issued warnings for arsenic standards violations for 15 years. Johnson County issued building permits, collected taxes, and promoted growth in the area. Developers built and sold houses west of Solon all along.

Payment deferred on failures to protect drinking water and enforce federal arsenic standards has come due. Don’t tell Solon to compromise our taxes and water supply, bailing everyone else out with profits intact.

Here’s an ethical concern: Gallery Acres West received approval for a $1.04 million, 75 percent forgivable loan, with $1.75 percent interest on balance to solve their “failure to act” problem. Last year, they reportedly received $75,000 for “planning” under the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund program. In a state short of money, these 14 homes are doing OK.

The emerging reality is clear — potable water is now an obstacle for rural development. Construction of these houses (some literally faux European country estates) without water quality controls is over. Liability, not ethics — for Johnson County, DNR, and developers — is the new issue. Solon’s public works director told the council last January “any connection would impact our water supply.”

So, please, leave Solon out of it.

Antonia Russo



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