Washington residents say they need more transparency from city officials

Local News

WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Some Washington residents are asking for more transparency in municipal decisions.

Washington resident Brian Fischer said he and two others created a Facebook group so residents can stay in the loop about city decisions

“It’s hard for people to become aware of what the City Council is doing,” he said. “What we want to do is improve the process [for] citizens becoming aware of the facts.”

One project discussed on the page is the Farm Creek Trunkline Sewer Replacement. Farm Creek is almost entirely on private land.

Fischer said the project needs to be done, but residents deserve to have more input and communication from city officials.

“We totally support the need for a new sewer. We just want it to be done. We want a transparent process. We want to take care of the environment, and we want the cost to be, you know, as efficient as possible for the City of Washington and taxpayers,” said Fischer.

The trunkline also runs through Gary Deiters’ property. He said he was never consulted about the project.

“I think if you’re going to, you know, put an easement against somebody’s property, that you should at least talk to him and say, ‘What are your thoughts?'” he said. “As property owners, we really just want to make sure that all of the I’s have been dotted and T’s are crossed before we start digging a hole underground and tearing up our property.”

Washington City Engineer Dennis Carr said this project has been passed through multiple hands throughout the city over the last few years, potentially contributing to the confusion.

He said moving forward, they will be as transparent as possible.

“We want it to be as good for the entire population of Washington as it possibly can be,” said Carr.

He said seven proposals will be presented at Monday’s City Council meeting, and there will be updates at every meeting going forward.

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