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Huge Bottling Plant Threatens Our Quality of Life

Wednesday, October 10, 2012, The Anacortes American

Letters to the Editor
Huge bottling plant threatens our quality of life
How will one of the largest water bottling plants just off Highway 20 on Reservation Road help the people of Skagit Valley? The land will be located within the Anacortes city limits, gracing them with tax revenues. Jobs have been promised, though unlikely there will be many.
This appears to be municipality business; after all, it is, or will be, within the city limits, though the residents will seldom see or hear it, or even deal with train congestion as most folks in Anacortes don’t “go over the bridge.” Anacortes is nicely insulated from the traffic on Highway 20.
But what about the impact of these trains going through Mount Vernon, Burlington and Highway 20? The entire rest of the county will be heavily impacted by train congestion, but stand to gain nothing from it.
Steve Winters with Tethys Enterprises had first said there would be four mile-long trains (round-trip makes that eight mile-long trains) each day. Add to that the extra train(s) Shell and Tesoro is filling with crude oil products and an extra 18 trains a day filled with coal, shopping in Mount Vernon or Burlington will require several railroad stops. All told, we could have well over 30 trains a day.
Who pays to have the road and rail crossing re-done at all the intersections? Do the people of Anacortes pay for this or will it be the citizens of Skagit County? I do not want to pay higher taxes so Tethys can profit from selling our water.
We can use some good industry in this county. The powers that be in Anacortes are looking in the right direction for themselves, but I think the inconvenience to the good people of Burlington and Mount Vernon and to citizens crossing Highway 20 is too high a trade-off.
Adding more trains to our transportation system right now is not a good idea for the people of Skagit County. The very quality of life in this beautiful valley is at stake. That many trains would encourage more business of the same in the future.
This will change the culture, the environment and the people of our valley forever. Let’s keep our valley a quiet place filled with pristine waters, scenic walking trails, agriculture, abundant bird life and a recovering salmon industry.
We are a bright and innovative people in this valley; we can do better than a bottling plant.
Judy Booth
La Conner
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