Washington Evening Journal

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Response to Mangold on lagoon

By Bette Brant | Oct 30, 2012

October 26, 2012

Richmond, Iowa


To the Editor:

As a resident of Richmond I would like to comment on County Supervisor Adam Mangold’s response to a letter by Marcus Fedler, in the Washington Journal of October 24 and 25, 2012, in which he attempts to rationalize his promotion of a Richmond lagoon sewer system.

It is disingenuous, to say the least, for Adam to compare the village of Richmond to any of the cities and towns with sewer systems that he mentions. To compare Kalona, Wellman, or Riverside – which have a combined population of over 4,000 people – to a village of 100 to 120 people is completely ridiculous. Also, Richmond has only a fraction of the population of Brighton, Ainsworth, or even Crawfordsville.

Only West Chester, whose population declined to 146 by 2010, comes close to Richmond in size. In fact, West Chester’s sewer system hasn’t been working very well. Many residents have to have their septic tanks pumped out, and the lagoon also has to be pumped out and the ‘effluent’ spread on fields. This is hardly what we want for Richmond.

Moreover, none of the cities or towns that Adam mentions is located on terrain so ill-suited for a central sewer system as is Richmond. For years our county supervisors have recklessly poured money into a risky project, as engineers struggle to come up with a plan for a location where building a sewer system is a nightmare!

Some years back a new house with an improperly constructed septic system was built in Richmond so that sewage ran behind several houses. Of course this was corrected, but we still hear stories about sewage in people’s yards. Take a pleasant stroll through our village and see for yourself. Some problems have developed on the periphery of Richmond, which is no surprise since people have been prevented from upgrading or maintaining septic systems for 15 years. Nobody wants this to continue, and this project actually stands in the way of our fixing it.

Supervisor Mangold should blush when he mentions the figure of $504,000 for several reasons. The amount that RUSS has spent for Washington County, with dubious justification and results, is actually $273,000. More importantly, however, is the fact that for the past four years Adam has joined with other supervisors in pouring taxpayer money into a very uncertain project, without first making sure they had what they needed to finish it.

Finally, Adam’s talk of a $0 rural taxpayer bill assumes that federal money is free like “manna from heaven.” Or, has it been borrowed from China, so our children and grandchildren can pay it back? We don’t mind using federal funds for something necessary, but this project is worse than the proverbial “bridge to nowhere”— at least that bridge did no harm!

Here Supervisor Mangold acts like the politician we all admire, condemning wasteful government spending while promoting it at the same time.


Bette Brant


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