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Elmer City looks at parallel paths in plant dispute


The Coulee Dam wastewater treatment plant.

Elmer City’s town council is divided about what to do in regard to Coulee Dam’s proposed wastewater treatment project.

Both Mayor Mary Jo Carey and Councilmember Larry Holford indicate interest in proceeding along parallel lines, trying to move forward with Coulee Dam while progressing on a plan to build their own sewer treatment plant.

Newcomer to the council Gail Morin, who was sworn in last Thursday night, was adamant about Elmer City going its own way. Shortly after being sworn in, Morin declared that she would vote “no” on going in with Coulee Dam.

Other council members, the man and wife team of Jeff and Donna DeWinkler, favor Elmer City moving forward with its own plant. Don Bonertz, another council member, was absent Thursday night but has spoken in favor of the town developing its own plant.

Council members hinted at an idea of having one plant, a new one halfway between Elmer City and Belvedere on Bureau of Reclamation property.

And they would welcome Coulee Dam vacating its plant and joining in with them.

Donna DeWinkler produced a map of the area showing a location owned by the Bureau that would be of sufficient size for a modern plant.

Newcomer Morin stated that she was convinced that Coulee Dam wasn’t interested in Elmer City and the sooner it proceeded with its own plan, the better. Morin had served earlier on the council and is replacing Cliff Layton, who recently resigned.

The council did build a consensus to start advertising for an engineer and to get one hired so that person could start the procedure of securing grants and loans to finance a new plant.

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