The word Infrastructure usually refers to public systems and services that are necessary for economic activity. We think of roads, power grids, water supplies and sewer systems. They are large scale and we pool our money together to create an economic benefit of all.
In July those of us who live in the Lake Whatcom Water & Sewer District received a letter describing proposed rate hikes. Over the next 5 years our sewer and water rates will rise above current inflation rates, even though they have been on a constant rise for past 5 years.
The notice gave us the reasons for the extraordinary rises:
- Small Customer base to spread the cost over
- Slow growth, no new customers.
- Few commercial and no industrial accounts.
These reasons point to the other definition of Infrastructure that of basic organization: the most basic level of organizational structure in a complex body or system that serves as a foundation for the rest. The reasons for Lake Whatcom’s extraordinary expense can be directly attributed to polices put in place by our basic organization The Whatcom County Council.
We are merely a microcosm of the greater Whatcom county and what is ahead for everyone else with county leadership that believes few people, slow growth, little commercial activity and no industrial activity should be the basic organization of our county.