Multiple and prolonged critiques of Coulee Dam’s proposed upgrade of its decades-old wastewater treatment plant; reasonable doubt cast by a seemingly less expensive, yet comparable, plant at Rock Island; possible funding partners who would like another study; and now a citizens’ petition asking the council take another look at the plans all seem to suggest strongly that the town council do just that.
Surely no one thoughtful enough to serve fellow citizens by taking a seat at any town council post would turn away from ways to save citizens significant amounts of money, even if it means altering a previously decided course.
The state Dept. of Ecology appears to be ready to wait on the loan that would fund the $5 million project, if need be.
The town’s biggest customer/partner in paying the costs of the plant, Elmer City, is poised to abandon their arrangement in favor of its own smaller and cheaper plant, taking with it about a quarter of the operating volume and revenue for the plant.
Making up that lost revenue among the three quarters remaining to pay would boost each customer’s costs an additional 30 percent or so, over and above the doubling of sewer rates already planned.
In the face of all that, the council needs to step back and take another look at the project.
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