In the last 10 years Washington state has had a phenomenal growth that included small cities and towns. Urban sprawl leached into nooks and crannies everywhere, attracting a new generation of homebuyers, the 30-somethings with attractive mortgage loans. Small businesses were popping up near them to take advantage of the newest of consumers, strip malls everywhere you look.
What failed to attach itself to the sprawl were manufacturers and warehouses. These are now seeking sites to build to aid in cheaper distribution and storage points.
Sumner is now raising its hand to say “Pick me, pick me, for your manufacturing, warehousing and distribution points!” Sumner City Mayor Dave Enslow and the City Council majority are proud of their efforts to rezone the north end of the city into a Manufacturing and Industrial Center (MIC), just and only just to be able to tap into federal funding for road improvements.
By the way, all the emergency services? First you have to entice the manufactures to move in, usually at a reduced rate, but how are you planning to pay for those fire and police services? Oh, wait, those federal road funds? They are going to take about 10 years to get, five years to plan, three years to build. Does that mean we are putting our police and fire at risk to respond to those emergencies without adequate access for 18 years? It might.
Now here is where this quaint small town nestled between Highway 167, Highway 410, Highway 162, Highway 18, deems its role is now to enter into the manufacturing and industrial industry. The MIC designation adds more traffic congestion which is bumper-to-bumper day and night now. Throw into this mix thousands more semi trucks, vans and cars which many will carry toxins for industrial use. Please, no chemical clouds during football games. Massive carbon emissions, has anyone tested the air there yet? More trucking facilities, new rail lines, a raise in crime with more smog for everyone to inhale and enjoy.
This designation does bring in more employment, tapping into outlaying cities. Sumner’s benefit will be marginal at best for local residents. I sure wouldn’t quit my job that I have vested 10 years into for a local job with less pay. I couldn’t afford to start all over again.
The MIC designation also limits the type of industry that can be located in that area. Oh wait, they are just going to have to rip out that golf course; you know, the one that floods all the time? Can’t have a golf course in the MIC, it doesn’t manufacture anything. Speaking about flooding, Sumner has substandard sandbag material available; one in three don’t rip. The mayor said the city doesn’t have any money for anything else.
And what about all those people that live in that area now? Will the city buy them out fairly just to have them relocate their lives? Poof? There goes the small town ambiance. It’s just getting too crowded in there.
My vote has to go the other way. I want the small town feeling, I want to be able to cross the street and smile at someone I know. I want the store owners to remember my name and my kids’ names. I want to be able to wave at someone on the street that I know. I want a City Council that listens intently to the desires of its residents. I want to be able to breathe, play golf, go to school football games and walk across the street anytime I choose. Mr. Richardson, who is running against the current mayor, has promised to do his best for Sumner; he voted no for the MIC rezoning. The minority.
If the majority of the citizens do not want this, what part of “no” do they not understand?
So the city wants to build its tax base, get money for roads, opt out of the quaint town motif, rip up the golf course, add 40,000 more trucks, vans and cars daily, fill their little corner of the world with more pollution and what else? Oh yes, sorry folks, there won’t be room for the Daffodil Parade anymore.