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'Community' solutions

Water plant


Urban journal

County Executive Maggie Brooks has been promoting a sales-tax plan she calls the "community solution." She's got her hands full trying to sell it, because city and suburban officials don't think it's based on the concept of "community" at all. They're afraid it'll take money away from them.

Which brings us to an opportunity for a real "community solution."

A couple of important public hearings are taking place on November 30 (1 p.m. at PenfieldTown Hall, 7 p.m. at SpryMiddle School in Webster). The subject is the county's plan to build a new water plant in Webster. The Monroe County Water Authority insists that we need it, but it'll be expensive. And there's enormous potential for damage.

Some day, we may come to grips with one of this county's most serious problems: we aren't growing. Our population is just shifting around: we lose people in one town, gain them in another. So anytime public officials talk about a big new project, we ought to ask them why we need it, if there aren't a lot more of us than there were, say, 10 or 20 years ago.

Some new projects can attract new growth or new visitors. But a water plant? The Water Authority insists that there's more demand in MonroeCounty --- from people who used to get water from their own wells, for instance. But let's see those numbers.

Worse still, the water plant would almost certainly encourage sprawl. It could pave the way for water lines to WayneCounty, just west of us. That would make it cheaper --- more attractive --- for new development to move there.

The region's not growing, so the new development would come from MonroeCounty. Think that wouldn't happen? Looked at OntarioCounty. The State of New York built a fancy road from the Thruway to Canandaigua, and MonroeCounty now stands by helplessly as the southeastern flow of development turns into a raging river.

There's a cult among sprawl enthusiasts, with capitalist poseurs insisting that regional planning is a Commie plot. It's time for fiscal conservatives and true Republicans to stand up for their principles. The proposed Webster water plant will be expensive. While we're paying for it, we'll be losing development to WayneCounty.

Does anybody care about that?

Does anybody think we should all pay for an expensive water plant that will erode the tax base in MonroeCounty?I wait for the Community Solution to this.