Why are there so many secret meetings going on at Wheeler City Hall reflected on the city website?
I just received my new City of Wheeler water bill for July and August for $290 for 3 retired adults. We don’t water the lawn and because we are mostly stay-at-home therefore, we don’t need to shower but a couple of times a week.
A few months ago, the citizens of Wheeler received a 3-page diatribe on how the water was going to increase, without even stating the amount. Our previous water bill was $156. And now the city has added a Water Debt Service Charge of $25 without notification of any kind.
After I have made 3 proposals to the city government officials, Cliff Kemp, Mayor; Karen Matthews, Council President; Walt Porter, Councilor; Deanne Ragnell, Councilor; Gordon Taylor, Councilor. I question why, If we are sharing the well under a signed 2005 Inter-Governmental Agreement, then why is Manzanita using 110 million gallons a year not sharing the more than $900,000 dollars it is collecting above and beyond the 200 million gallons Wheeler is using. All I have heard from the council is ‘we must be nice to those people’. I didn’t vote for ‘those people’, I voted for the City of Wheeler Council.
That amounts to $450,000 that Wheeler should be receiving for its part of the shared water which amounts to more than $1400 A DAY that Wheeler should be receiving for its share of the water.
To highlight the sharing of Inter-Governmental Agreement, when Manzanita had fizz or air in their water 3 years ago, an Aeration Tank was installed at the well site to get rid of the fizz, although Wheeler had no fizz in its water, it was required under the IGA to pay for half of the tank.
I have never received a straight answer to my concerns at 3 different meetings with city officials; once with mayor Doug Honeycutt, on May 16th, who resigned a couple of months ago; then at the City Council Meeting on July 18th, and again with the council meeting this past August 15th.
Why is Wheeler neglecting its obligations to receive its share of the water while adding more charges on the backs of its citizens? Are they planning to give away Wheeler’s well because Nehalem is out of water? Wasn’t Nehalem not asked if they wanted to join in to finance the original well? Didn’t Manzanita plan to originally use Anderson Creek for their primary water source and that is why Manzanita built the water treatment plant at the corner of Laneda and Hwy. 101? Why so many secret agendas and meetings on the website of Wheeler City Hall?
Next City of Wheeler public meeting is September 15, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. Nothing planned for Oct or Nov. on the calendar. Are we no longer going to be a city after Nehalem ties onto our Wheeler Well water and builds a plant on their side of the river? Wheeler will have no source of income.
GGitzen@nehalemtel.net – 503 354-7668