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Yakima County Commissioners approve water system plan

Yakima County Commissioners approve water system plan

YAKIMA, Wash. - Some rural landowners are not happy that the Yakima County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a plan that impacts the county's water system.

"Take our land, dictate what we can do with that, how we do it, how many buildings, how big, how this, how everything," a rural landowner said. "Now you're going to take our water, if that isn't terrorism I don't know what is."

People who don't have city water will be require to pay permit and usage fees for new domestic wells installed.

According to the plan, new well users will have to pay a one-time $1,150 fee and a $35 quarterly fee.

Yakima County Commissioner Rand Elliott said there is no excess water in the county and they have to do something.

"If we do nothing we are faced with possible lawsuits or moratorium, so nobody would be able to drill a well or build a house in incorporated county," Elliott said. "So I view this as a compromise."

However, many community members such as Majorie Hart don't agree and she said she feels like she is being robbed of her rights.

"You're not going to shove in on me," Hart said. "We're going to have some serious issues if you think you're going to do that, you're taking away my rights."

While others told commissioners they want less government involvement.

"Guys you're pushing these people man, they're at their limits," Grant Elsworth said. "Don't push them too far, you guys are taking so much away from them and from us."

But most community members, just want answers.

"It's just an education process for everybody, people want to know why," Doug Miller said. "Is there a deficiency in our water? Is it a need? If it is a need, what is the urgency of that need? Education within the people is a must."

Commissioners said this plan is more flexible and cheaper than other counties.

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