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By Walt Hill
Member of the Seeley Lake Sewer District 

Roll Up Our Sleeves and Work Together for the Common Good


December 7, 2017

SEELEY LAKE - You likely have recently received another letter from Don Larson (dba Citizens for Sensible Wastewater Solutions) telling you to protest the sewer proposal to build a treatment and collection facility in Seeley Lake.

He notes first off that the proposal will not appreciably change water quality in the watershed. I disagree entirely. While the sewer will not return all of our watershed to pristine conditions, it will take a giant step forward in cleaning it up.

We annually dump approximately 250,000 gallons of untreated urine into the ground in the Seeley community. This vast volume dumped into a reasonably small area has, does and will certainly affect the water quality in this watershed. Test well results all show contamination, some at or near the maximum allowable levels. WE ARE definitely affecting the water quality of this watershed and it will continue to worsen unless WE take action.

Yes, the cost is high, but without the $15 million grant/loan package, it would be much higher – and will be if we don’t allow this proposal to go through.

We need to find ways to alleviate some of this indebtedness with the help of our visitors. We could do so with a resort assessment, which interestingly this same group opposed in previous years. It could provide an estimated $30/month decrease in the sewer bill.

Were we to incorporate and create a Tax Increment District (TIF) we would have an even greater income for Seeley Lake to pay for such improvements. West Yellowstone is an example of what resort and TIF funding can do. We can do these things if we will decide to work together and focus on what we want Seeley Lake to be, rather than focus narrowly on our own interests.

So let’s not protest, but rather roll up our sleeves and find ways to make all of this work together for our children and grandchildren to fully enjoy.


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