West Richland Residents Angry Over New Irrigation Plan - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland Residents Angry Over New Irrigation Plan

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- Some West Richland residents were angry tonight over a new irrigation system that could soon be in there area. About 800 people living in a 406-acre area west of Highlands Boulevard, south of Paradise Road, and north of Keene Road would be affected by the plan.

The Columbia Irrigation District plan would have these West Richland residents watering their lawns with unfiltered canal water rather than the city's drinking water that they use now.

Many residents say the new CID irrigation plan is not a good investment. Jeff Marshall says, "It would be quite a long payback, 10 years or more, that is not a good investment."

The new plan would cost $1,750 dollars initially for most people in the area but could cost up to $5,000 in the Polo Grounds development. Some residents say the costs are just too high. Al Garcia says, "We live on a fixed income. It's going to cost more. We don't have the money."

Residents voted on the plan tonight, with 51% 'yes' votes needed to put the plan in action. But what angered many residents is that absent people were counted as a yes' vote. And there was large stack of unused ballots.

CID officials say they are just acting according to city statute. They say that they just want residents to have the chance to make their own decision.

CID's Larry Fox says, "We're just throwing out a plan and people can vote yes or vote no." But many residents say that CID just isn't listening to them.

Michael Prather says, "They're shoving it down our throats, this is what they want, it isn't what the people want."