SSince moving to Ashland in 1991, I have walked along our irrigation canal trails nearly every morning, and I must say my morning walk is among the most peaceful and enjoyable parts of my day. I encounter neighbors running, walking dogs, enjoying the fresh morning air accompanied by birdsong and the sound of the water rushing by, appreciating changing seasons and, soon, spring wildflowers coming into bloom. Why in the world would a city pay $3.1 million to destroy that? With over 85 miles of open-air irrigation ditch flowing through the TID system, how could the underground piping of a two-mile stretch through Ashland meaningfully address issues to do with seepage, evaporation, or pollution? And if these are issues crucially impacting the health of the overall system, why not first begin by piping the rest of the system, the parts less frequented by hikers and walkers? There is a striking ecology along the TID. Why ruin that? This idea of underground piping of our irrigation canal looks to me like a multimillion-dollar boondoggle of a solution in desperate search of a problem. I bet we can all think of scores of better uses for $3.1 million of our taxpayer dollars.
Nancy Parker, Ashland