Members of the Wellington City Council revoked their decision to move forward with a water treatment plant at a recent meeting.
The initial decision to move forward with the plant came after nearly two years of discussion before the council voted in favor of the project in June. As the decision came to a split vote by the council, mayor Joan Powell broke the tie with a vote in favor of the plant. As the council delved deeper into the project and learned more, it was agreed that many factors make the plant not feasible at this time.
“Until we have a year-round water supply that we can rely on, there is no way this could be feasible for us,” Powell said. The mayor explained that in winter months, frozen water resources would leave the plant with no water to treat, making the plant inoperable for months out of the year. Lack of incoming revenue in those months would make the plant expensive to operate throughout the rest of the year.
“It is a good thing and there isn’t one of us who doesn’t want it but right now the time is not right,” said Powell.
The current economic situation of Wellington City also played a role in the council’s decision. Powell explained that with such a large-scale project, a sound and predictable economy would be the best situation. With the economy in question and economic conditions unforeseeable, the council agreed that the large project is not feasible for the city of Wellington at this time.
“I can’t ask the citizens of Wellington to support something, especially when something is going downhill in the city of Wellington in terms of the economy,” Powell explained.
Every council member agreed to rescind the plans to move forward with the plant and instead support other county-wide projects. The possibility of a lower level water basin in the county has been largely discussed as well as the Carbon Canal being piped will garner the support of the Wellington City Council instead of the unfeasible water treatment plant. With each member in agreement, the council voted to rescind the project.
“It was decided to issue a letter of rescission to the USDA, citing concerns regarding not being able to operate year-round among other factors,” said councilmen Pete Yakovich.
Powell has sent a letter to the Department of Agriculture stating that the council has rescinded its approval of the water treatment plant and will decline the $3.5 million in federal funding and grant monies. The mayor explained that there will be no penalties concerning the declination of the funds.