Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

The lights are on

By Peggy Duwa | Oct 24, 2012

October 22, 2012

Kalona, Iowa


To the Editor:

I’m disappointed that the citizens of Washington County are just now paying attention to the Richmond lagoon situation. After years of planning and conflict the supervisors are considering scrapping the lagoon at the expense of the rural citizens as a one-time taxation.

Now the lights are on and the volume is up. You have become aware of Richmond’s situation when it could possibly affect your pocketbook. We missed you! Where have you been?

The “doesn’t affect me” mentality is not a good one to live by. When it comes to economic and financial issues within our county government, it’ll likely affect you one way or another. Do you think the USDA RD grant money we keep hearing about didn’t come from you? It sure did! Our supervisors plan to invest your funds into our unnecessary lagoon one way or another.

I can’t blame our rural neighbors for being upset, because it’s just not fair. It’s not fair to any of us. The people of Richmond lose either way — ending up with an unnecessary lagoon, or paying the same tax as the rural citizens. Who’s to blame? It’s not the rural folks, nor is it the people of Richmond. It’s the supervisors who did not do their homework. They chose not to investigate the situation thoroughly and properly. They had this plan as far back as 1997 when a Richmond couple was advised not to replace their system because a centralized system was coming. Funny that it took another four years for citations to get the ball rolling. Something smells a bit septic here.

Have you ever visited Richmond? It’s a beautiful little community. Contrary to popular reports, our ditches are not flooded with raw sewage. We mow our ditches. If you toured our village this summer you would have noticed our ditches to be as brown as our yards. Our community was once happy and peaceful, with neighbors being friends. This mayhem has caused division between church, within churches, and torn friendships apart.

That’s pretty sad, huh, and not at all Christian-like. Yet, our “gods” in Washington County feel this is quite all right. They even suggest that we incorporate to get out from under their rule. Perhaps they haven’t noticed that small eastern Iowa communities have had to disincorporate recently because of these RUSS lagoons. It’s causing their budgets to collapse, forcing bankruptcy, and they then become a ward of the county again. It appears the supervisors locked themselves into this, even after the former county attorney advised against signing the 28E agreement with RUSS. Why would they want to be involved in something not being mandated by the DNR?

So here we are — not fair to our rural friends, not fair to Richmondites, and it is there that we happen to be on an equal playing field. Is there an “up” side to paying the tax? Perhaps it would be tax-deductible.

Vote Nov. 6 for a candidate who is willing to listen to you!


Peggy Duwa

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