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PHILOMATH, Ore.,-- The Philomath City Council met to discuss a proposal for a new water treatment plant Monday.
The city plans to replace the old water treatment plant and build a new storage tank nearby. Chris Workman, the Philomath City Manager, said the entire project is estimated to cost about $12.7 million.
"It's not so much why we want to, but why we have to," Workman said. "Our current plant is just about 30 years old. It was really only built to last about 20 years for the population that was projected 30 years ago for 20 years out, so we've exceeded the life expectancy of the plant."
Workman said they are at capacity at the current plant. Since it is older, he said maintaining the facility has become more difficult and it is harder to find replacement parts for the machinery.
To pay for the project, the city would try and get a loan from state agencies or sell bonds. Workman said over the past few years, they have already been raising utility rates in anticipation of a new plant. If the council decides to move forward with the project, they would decide if they would need to raise utility rates once again to pay for it.
"Obviously, the goal is to not charge more than we have to for utilities, but the city council will have a chance to take all that into consideration," Workman said.
Workman said the storage tank would likely be across the street from the new facility. He said having the tank and the plant in a centralized location would help save money in the long run.
If the council moves forward with the proposed plan, the construction wouldn't start until 2020 at the earliest.