Hearing about Ocean Shores’ latest water woes makes one wonder: “Water coulda been?” Would things have been different if, a dozen years ago, the city opted to have the county provide some or all of its drinking water — rather than city council authorizing a $7 million (with about half in federal grants) MIEX system upgrade, keeping control of locals’ drinking water?
In a post on the Facebook page North Beach Vent & Complain, my suggestion that the city could have given the county control of the water — and responsibility to fix any problems — was challenged by longtime city watcher Lillian Broadbent, who said the county’s North Beach operations would not have the capacity to provide all of Ocean Shores’ needed water. I responded that I recalled that, despite doubts raised by the city, the county said it had all the water O.S. needed. Ditto for Dave Creigthon, who was on the council at the time: “I remember it that way also,” Creighton posted. “It was on our side that we didn’t think they could fully supply us.”
According to the Aug. 25, 2008, water study session minutes: “Miles Beach (the head of the city’s water department) stated that County water may need treatment and recommended that the City process water and not be dependent on an outside source.”
From the Aug. 11, 2008, study session minutes: “There was Council concem regarding the single source resin and long term resin contracts.”
From the Aug. 25, 2008, study session minutes: “There was more Council discussion regarding: • water rights • mixing County water with water from Ocean Shores • contacting other cities using the MIEX system to learn of
Mayor Bunkers was concerned about the following issues.:• losing water right permits to develop wells if not used • mixing water without more treatment than chlorine • County wells being pumped for only a three day duration
• Council, not staff, making the decision of how to progress with water treatment