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Wise investment – Our view: City planned, executed wastewater plant plan well

N o city or its council members want to spend $24 million, even if it’s on a piece of critical infrastructure.
Last week, the Glencoe City Council reached an important milestone when it approved needed renovations on the municipal wastewater treatment plant south of Highway 212 and west of Morningside Drive. The vote to approve it capped several years of discussion, politicking and lobbying the state for funding help, a loan application, and the decision to increase rates to keep the improved plant running well. Councilors logged plenty of time discussing the overall plan and its funding components of the construction and facility operational costs, and no doubt anguished over hefty rate increases.
They should be credited with the investment of time and effort for a job that had to be completed if Glencoe is to remain a viable, livable community welcoming residential and commercial growth in the years to come. City councilors and staff took on a difficult task that had to be done. Credit goes to plenty of people, too many to mention here.
The plan city staff and councilors created and approved is to bring the plant up to state standards and have it be ready for growth and change in the years to come. They expect the new facility will last about 20 years before additional upgrades are needed again. The council’s hope is financing of the facility won’t be too great a burden, though many will notice the fee increases accompanying the new facility. The council should also be credited with approving the alternates – doors, windows and roofing work – with the base bid. Properly staged, bringing in new wastewater treatment equipment at a time when roofing, doors and window work is underway is prudent.
Wastewater treatment plants aren’t the types of facilities the chamber of commerce brags about. Wastewater just isn’t terribly sexy. A new, modern facility is, however, a sign a community is poised to grow and welcomes growth and development. The only problem with wastewater treatment plants is their lifespan is only 20 years. Then it will be time for upgrades to meet new standards.
We hope Glencoe enjoys the fruits of its investment.
We thank the city for taking on an unpleasant, complicated task for the betterment of the community.

- jm