A week ago, a letter to the editor written by Al Taggert from Coralville was published in the Clinton Herald. This says that for 30 years Clinton has ignored federal requirements regarding sewer systems in contrast to other municipalities.
The first step in recovery is to admit you have a problem and that’s what the city of Clinton must do regarding their sewer problem.
Where does Mr. Taggart get this idea? Over the past 30 years, the city of Clinton has spent millions to separate its sewer collection system, something that cannot be done overnight. Notice that streets are torn up now as part of that effort. The only time any of the sewage of Clinton goes into the river untreated is when there is a storm water overflow of combined parts of the system. Clinton has built a new higher capacity sewage treatment plant.
A saying often heard in the sewage treatment business is “the solution to pollution is dilution.” In my own experience, I went either swimming or waterskiing in the Mississippi frequently during the 1950s and 1960s and never experienced any ill effects when at that time very few of the communities had treatment facilities. Clinton built its Beaver Channel treatment plant a lot earlier than 30 years ago and has enhanced it several times since then. Where is your evidence for what you are trying to say Mr. Taggert?
I probably do as much local historical research on Clinton as anyone and have never seen anything that says that Clinton dumped its garbage off the high bridge or any other bridge. Since you are presumably not over 100 years old, where is your source for this information? Clinton did have an incinerator in Riverview Park next to the baseball park for many years, but no one I know thinks that was downtown and, in any case, it was closed and torn down more than 30 years ago. I am not aware of any lawsuit by cities downstream against the city of Clinton in the last 30 years. Where is your source of this information?
Clinton and many other cities have been the subject of many unfunded mandates, the most expensive of which have been a consequence of the Clean Water Act of 1972. This is a practice that took on a life of its own in the 1970s. One level of government passes laws or adopts regulations that require other levels of government to raise and spend money to fund priorities that are not the priorities or on a timetable that the people in the other governmental entity would choose.
Many of these priorities are justified as beneficial for the overall good. In such a case, equity would require the level of government establishing the requirement to have “skin in the game” by sharing in the cost. I was on the Clinton City Council for seven years and could give you a list of unfunded mandates that are often mandated in a mindless and stupid manner.
Michael J. Kearney,