Monday, July 23, 2012

Alma Gates tackles DC Water, Bloomingdale flooding and McMillan

Google Alma Gates -- she has been active in DC community issues for years. She attended a recent McMillan meeting held at St. George's Church.  It was a pleasure to finally meet her after all of these years.

See Alma Gates` comment in this morning`s The Mail from DC Watch -- a product of Gary Imhoff and Dorothy Brizill -- she tackles Bloomingdale flooding and the proposed McMillan development project by way of DC Water.

It’s Time for Utility Companies to Come to the Table
Alma Gates, ahg71139@aol.com

Friday evening a news clip showing storm water running like a river down First Street in the Bloomingdale Community was an all too familiar sight. This catastrophic flooding has existed for years, but little if anything has been done to ease the burden to homeowners of the area. Where are the City Administrator and DDOE Director? Why isn’t George Hawkins of WASA front and center when it is clear storm water capacity has been exceeded? What is the Public Service Commission thinking when the utility returns to the trough on a regular basis for rate increases? The city has had an ongoing issue with lead in drinking water but there doesn’t seem to be the same level of concern about raw sewage backing up in toilets and spilling onto basement floors. Toxic contaminants in drinking water and raw sewage in basements should be of equal concern to the City Administrator and council.
                           
The issue of flooding in Bloomingdale is extremely timely, as a multi-acre development is planned for the McMillan Reservoir site. How will development on this large site improve or affect its surroundings?
                                                                                                     
I suggest it’s time our utility companies be required to sit at the zoning table and submit testimony on large tract development at zoning hearings. These reports should no longer be presented by the Office of Planning. Recent performance by utility companies, PEPCO on power outages and WASA on flooding and sewer back ups, has been a failure. There is no accountability.. Council hasn’t improved matters by tacking on various fees that have done little to improve the quality or quantity of performance. When the McMillan case comes before the Zoning Commission, the community deserves an answer from Mr. Hawkins to the questions, “What impacts does WASA anticipate at the McMillan site and what mitigation will WASA employ or require to assure improvement on quality of life issues in Bloomingdale?”

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