Tieton Water Meeting Brews More Hot Water - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tieton Water Meeting Brews More Hot Water

TIETON, Wash. - The City of Tieton is facing tough times from its water pipe problems.

Mayor Norma Joiner and the city council held a special water meeting on Wednesday night, but the town is still divided.

It's a slippery situation and it has to do with a stiff rate increase for the people of Tieton.

City engineers presented a plan to replace the entire water pipe system, but it's going to come at a high price and that's something that divides the city and some of its people.

21 water pipe breaks later and there's still a group of people who aren't willing to lift the blame off of Mayor Norma Joiner.

James Gregory, a Tieton resident, leads a group of people who wants joiner to step down. He took off in the middle of the meeting, feeling left behind and he's not happy about the rate increase.

"It's gonna be high, there's no way around that but the only thing is you start borrowing that kind of money, you're going to have to pay all that money back and the longer the term, you know, the worse it's gonna be," he said.

But other people, like Jose Muniz said the mayor did a great job handling the water problem.

Muniz has lived in Tieton for 20 years and he said the pipe breaks were going to happen with or without Joiner as mayor.

He said the people of Tieton should rally around her and come together to find a quick solution to the problem.

"Instead of blaming the bad things on her, they should help, you know, not just blame her, it's not her fault, you know, she tried to do her best," he said.

City engineers said the current system is extremely vulnerable and pipes could break at any time. So far the City of Tieton has received a $500,000 emergency loan, but they still need more funding.

City engineers said it'll cost over $3,000,000 to replace the entire system.

Whether they're for or against the mayor, the people of Tieton are facing a rate increase no matter what happens.