Prune Alley project is unnecessary | Letter

Prune Alley project is unnecessary | Letter

Editor’s note: In October 2019, the estimated total for the Prune Alley project was $4.5 million. The project’s funding was said to be from the county’s real estate excise tax, which would provide upwards of $500,000 every year throughout the life of the project; a Federal Surface Transportation Block Grant; and county road funds. The Washington Department of Ecology would also help pay for stormwater improvements.

I recently became aware of the Prune Alley Street Alteration and Lighting Project in Eastsound. I am much opposed to it for the following reasons. Schematics of this project may be viewed at https://www.sanjuanco.com/DocumentCenter/View/19046/Conceptual-Design. This project had its genesis in the enactment of 1992 Ordinance 62.

COST. This project is estimated to cost $4 MILLION. This money will come from INCREASED TAXES in the form of increased property taxes, excise taxes, car tabs, etc., etc.all of which will be paid by local residents. During this stressful time, many local residents are out of work, underemployed and unable to pay their bills, are standing in food lines, and are in desperate financial need. All of us cannot afford the unwanted and unnecessary financial burden which this project would entail.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. Orcas Islanders are blessed by an enveloping blanket of DARKNESS at night. The day is done and peace has descended on the land and sea. It is time to rest and-on clear nights-enjoy the beauty and majesty of the night sky. The LIGHT POLLUTION caused by this project would significantly destroy this irreplaceable gift of feeling at one with the grandeur and immensity of nature.

URBANIZATION. This project would entail the rebuilding of streets intersections and extensive building of sidewalks. This is an unwanted expense. Almost no one is out walking at night. “Downtown” is virtually closed, and little if any foot traffic is to be seen. This project serves a need that doesn’t exist. By choice, we are not an urban area.

Please express your written opposition to this unaffordable and destructive project to members of The San Juan County Council and get their response to your concerns before the coming November election. Their vote on this project will profoundly affect the future character of Eastsound. Their mailing address is San Juan County Council, 370 Court St. Box 1, Friday Harbor, WA 98245.

Larry Weingarth

Eastsound