As Mayor, Jack Hatch knows that our number one priority is protecting our water. As a state legislator, Jack Hatch wrote the law that was the largest environmental clean-up program in Iowa which eliminated groundwater contamination due to leaking underground gasoline tanks. In the mayor’s office, Jack Hatch will fight to keep Des Moines Water Works under city control, and make sure the Des Moines water supply is the cleanest in the state.
Jack Hatch proposes the following plan, called Our Forever Water, to accomplish four main objectives: 1. Ensure water quality, 2. Protect ratepayers. 3. Meet future growth opportunities. 4. Require a vote of the residences of Des Moines for any future reorganization of the Water Works.
“Sunshine” Public Hearings
To protect our water, Jack Hatch believes we must first stand up to those who would secretly take control away from the city. In fact, Frank Cownie worked with state legislators from rural areas to takeover Des Moines local water supply. Mayor Cownie even refused to take a position when the city council voted to go along with the takeover even though Des Moines residents overwhelmingly opposed it. On September 25, 2019, Jack Hatch revealed a previously secret memo proposing to dismantle the Des Moines Water Works. That’s why Jack Hatch calls for immediate “sunshine” public hearings and transparency to determine the full effects on ratepayers and water quality.
Require a vote of the citizens of Des Moines
As Mayor, Jack Hatch will ensure that Des Moines water will forever be protected. He will require a vote of the citizens of Des Moines to ever relinquish control of our water.
Independent Financial Analysis and Public Hearing
Any discussions between the Des Moines Water Works Board of Trustees and other municipalities should be suspended and a comprehensive internal review of the proposed regional authority must be conducted with city council approval.
Des Moines Water Works should not sell its assets without an independent financial analysis and a vote of its citizens.
In addition to public input, an independent financial analysis will determine whether or how the sale of Des Moines Water Works should be negotiated.
A Regional Collaborative Task Force
If elected, Jack Hatch will immediately take the following actions:
1: Recognizing the regional nature of the Des Moines Water Works as a provider of water to surrounding cities, Jack Hatch will create a Regional Task Force comprising of members of the Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines city council, other local governments, regional associations, soil conservation districts, and citizens that comprise the Raccoon River Watershed basin. This task force will ensure a bottom up approach to developing active strategies to reduce nitrates and phosphates in our water.
2: Authorize the Task Force to recommend a regional authority through Chapter 28E agreements that will begin to adequately recognize the assets of the Des Moines Water Works and other water utilities but recognizing that the rate payers of Des Moines have valuable assets that must be protected.
If these steps are taken, the residents of the city will be assured that they are receiving the highest quality water possible and provide for the future growth of the Des Moines metropolitan area.