This undersigned resident respectfully wishes to draw attention to a number of issues that are a growing detriment to my Community of Summit-Waller.

I am a business person, owning a business I brought with me in 1990 from King County. I moved to Pierce County because of the community, its people, and the environment. I have been working here the past 27 years and fear that new businesses considering a move to Pierce County will choose to locate elsewhere because of growing traffic congestion and grid lock.

Current and past transportation planning has caused a rapid negative impact in our Rural Separator community. Side road traffic during working hours has increased to more than double in the past five years. The rapid traffic increase within our community is caused by congestion on the major highways of Interstate-5, Canyon Road, and SR 512. Our highway grid system is less than 20 percent than that of surrounding cities. Our public bus transportation is practically void in our community. We also find it takes considerably more time to enter and travel onto major highway corridors surrounding our community.

I believe Pierce County needs to adopt our own MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) program, and scuttle ST3 (Sound Transit 3). ST3 will eventually lead Pierce County into becoming a second class county in the future. ST3 is not compatible with Pierce County’s 1% levy tax limitation on property taxes, rate of inflation, and personal income growth. The tax burden of ST3 will produce very few, if any, benefits to our community and its members over the next 25 years.

An example of the economic impact of ST3 on my wife and I who need our two automobiles is over $600 per year. Last year’s tab for one of our cars was $147, whereas this year the tab is $442, an increase of $295 for a 5 year old 2012 model. The other car is a year newer (no license renewal notice yet until June) and my property tax portion for ST3 will add approximately $175. I currently pay $81 annually in transit tax. I expect that my monthly costs will be an additional $65 monthly and $775 annually or 12% more. In 25 years that will be an added cost of $19,375 for ST3, for a tax Pierce County voters rejected. My new total car and property tax will cost me $7272 annually or $606 monthly.

I am sure there will be several court challenges to our current Pierce County Growth Plan, resulting in the withholding of government funds due to conflicts with Federal, Washington State GMA, and other regulations. I can think of four separate funding sources that could be withheld totaling more than 40 to 50 million dollars or more annually.

Pierce County and our rural communities cannot wait 20 to 30 years to solve current traffic problems. Let’s fix them now while we still have the opportunity and can afford to do so.

Respectfully,

Jim Akers
3404-84th St. E.
Tacoma, WA. 98446
253-535-9256
jammc@harbornet.com

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