We’d prefer less acrimony in their deliberations, but count us as encouraged with ongoing efforts by Frankfort Plant Board directors to find a compromise solution on the controversial Tanglewood water reservoir.
In the saga’s latest development, FPB directors, after some squabbling, voted 3-2 in a special meeting Friday to tweak the plan for replacement of a 140-year-old tank that the municipal utility says is living on borrowed time. The plan, which will be presented to city officials, calls for the same size tank as originally proposed – 7 million gallons – but with some modifications designed to lessen aesthetic impacts on the Tanglewood neighborhood.
A failed compromise proposal a week earlier would have reduced the tank to 6.5 million gallons in an attempt to address concerns by city planners and commissioners that the reservoir design runs afoul of the community’s comprehensive plan. FPB Director Stephen Mason made the motion for the slightly smaller tank, but board Chairman Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen joined with Directors Walt Baldwin and Jeff Bradshaw to defeat the proposal.
The three responded in last week's special meeting with their own compromise, which passed over the objections of Mason and Director Dawn Hale.
We preferred Mason’s plan, as it had a better chance of acceptance by city officials, thus getting the matter out of the courtroom, where both sides continue to rack up legal fees with no end to the litigation in sight. The legal fees are doubly painful for many in the community who are both FPB ratepayers and city taxpayers.
But at least there’s now a concrete proposal before city officials, whose response will determine whether more negotiations and counterproposals are needed. We commend Rosen, Baldwin and Bradshaw for the latest effort.
Mayor Bill May told The State Journal last week that he’s been working in recent weeks to get all parties to the negotiating table in pursuit of a compromise that protects the interests of FPB water consumers and Tanglewood residents and the integrity of the community's comprehensive plan. We wish the mayor well, as such leadership is critically important in a debate that to date has been shaped too much by emotions and not enough by logic and goodwill.
It’s time to end the Tanglewood reservoir debate once and for all.