Larry Anderson is a retired civil engineer and former general manager of the West Des Moines Water Works. He prepared these comments to submit to the West Des Moines Water Works trustees on December 13.
I’m a civil engineering graduate of Iowa State University, was a Registered Professional Civil Engineer in Iowa and the first general manager of West Des Moines Water Works, having been privileged to serve the utility for 27 years, between 1977 and 2004. However, my concern about regionalization of water production isn’t about any of those things.
The proposed change to regional, politicized governance of water production gives away a substantial part of West Des Moines destiny to others. Yes, West Des Moines would receive a voice in the decision-making of wholesale water rates. Whether it is a strong voice or simply a voice in the wilderness, due to the newly added politics, is a definite concern of mine and it should be to all West Des Moines residents.
More important, the proposal gives an added political body the ability to simply say, “No, we cannot provide additional water right now to West Des Moines. We might be able to do that later, but not now.” So, an economic development proposal offered to West Des Moines will occur elsewhere. That is very concerning to me as a resident of West Des Moines since 1955.