Ellensburg Daily Record: Cle Elum endorses framework of Yakima Basin water plan

By Barb Owens

Ellensburg Daily Record

May 9, 2012

The Cle Elum City Council unanimously endorsed the general framework of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan after hearing a presentation about the estimated $3 billion to $5 billion project at a regular meeting Tuesday.

Initially, some Council members voiced concerns about supporting a project as complex and difficult to understand as the Yakima Basin Water Plan without having more expert input.

“We’re not asking for buy in on all the details,” said Cynthia Wilkerson, program manager with the Wilderness Society’s North Cascades Region. “We’re asking for buy in at the framework level.”

Wilkerson and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Technical Projects Officer Wendy Christensen gave presentations to the Council about the Yakima Basin Plan during the Tuesday meeting.

Cle Elum City Administrator Matt Morton said he supports endorsing the plan’s overall framework. He said the endorsement would cement Cle Elum’s seat at the table during future discussions about the plan.

“I think most of these partnerships work better when you’re seated at the table,” Morton said.

He said he has a hard time finding any potential economic drawbacks for Cle Elum in the plan.

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