A major improvement

Published 12:43 am Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Although Washington’s population has hovered around the 10,000-person mark for several decades, the population a few miles outside the city limits is growing. That growth is affecting Washington.

That growth — residential and commercial — means more rooftops, driveways and parking lots. That means more stormwater runoff making its way into the city. That means the existing, somewhat inadequate draining systems in the city are overtaxed when it comes to dealing with stormwater runoff.

That’s why a $5 million drainage project in the city is under way, a project that affects three of the city’s drainage basins.

We agree with Mayor Archie Jennings in his assessment that the project is one of the most important projects that city has undertaken in many years. Jennings hit the nail on the head when he described the project as having a “meaningful impact on people’s lives.”

The project should alleviate a drainage problem that plagues many city residents and those who live just outside the city limits. The project should make it easier for growth to occur in the city — and outside the city — because the stormwater system will be better able to handle stormwater runoff.

For those who have been wondering what the stormwater fee on their utilities bills pays for, the revenue generated by those fees pays for projects like this one.

Although some people will derive more benefit from the project, it’s a project that benefits the city as a whole.

Washington should pursue more such projects. Its leaders should be looking for similar projects to fund.