Fayetteville could stop all such projects and give the employees a few weeks of watershed training and soon be actually making strides toward reducing pollution of the Illinois and White River watersheds and getting closer to meeting EPA pollution standards. And saving money in the process.
At a recent council meeting or council agenda session, there was a lot of talk about keeping people working and thus not putting a hold on any scheduled "capital-improvement projects."
But providing thorough training for all city workers in the many ways they can save money AND better protect the watershed would justify paying them for taking the training rather than proceeding with outdated construction efforts that further increase flooding and siltation of our streams that flow to Lake Tenkiller and Beaver Lake.
And the park department's continued paying of temporary summer workers for mowing could be eliminated simply by following the mayor's instructions to convert one-third of the park space to native species of grass. Who decided to ignore that mandate?
If the heavy rain that hit north and south of Fayetteville in recent weeks had hit Fayetteville, can you guess which houses would have been washed away and whose vehicles would be buried in muck right now? Or who would have been killed? A person with common sense doesn't need an engineering or professional planning degree to figure out those things. The old-timers built on the ridges and left the sunken seasonal wetland alone. But commonsense has been repressed in the race to outgrow other cities in our region and grab all the tax money.
The pioneers would have built in the lowlands if it had been a reasonable thing to do. But a couple of boom-town decades have pushed reality into the background and filling in every space has become fashionable.