It appears that the city council feels that because water service is something that humans require for life its self, it is a "cash cow" that can be used to milk additional moneys out of the city residents. If more funds are necessary for maintaince, or replacing an aging storm water system, it seems that that should have been planned for decades ago, rather than waiting utill the last minute to spring it on people who put their trust in elected and appointed city officials. If raising rates is the answer for basic services, i.e. storm water removal (because it does rain in the city occasionally), that the increase for Lake Whatcom land acquisition (which really should be done under the levy system instead of water rate increases), should be deferred to the storm water repairs or replacement. If the water department can't afford to provide the basic needs of the community, it surely can't afford to be purchasing land that will never stop the perceived pollution of Lake Whatcom. The core of both these problems have a shared creation. I believe the problem with the Lake Whatcom is stagnation created by a lack of adequate outflow of lake water, and the loss of industrial tax base within the city limits. I hope, at least this letter is read by those making the decision on this issue. And at best, it shines a light on basic problem with the rates increases for water services in this community.