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Residents oppose plant site

City considers options for wastewater facility

MORRISON – Phil Bramm says he has a reason to oppose a proposed site for the city’s wastewater treatment plant: He’d be living next to it.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Bramm said he and three property owners next to the site feared the facility would cause their property values to drop.

“Nowhere have I seen an area where there hasn’t been a buffer zone” between a wastewater treatment plant and neighboring homes, he said.

He agreed with city officials that the plant was in bad shape, so something had to be done.

The city’s current treatment plant is at Waterworks Park. Officials have been considering either rebuilding the plant or building a new one. The proposed site is in the northeast part of the park, just north of the current facility.

Last month, Freeport-based Fehr-Graham & Associates engineering firm presented the proposal at a council meeting.

Bramm suggested putting the plant south of the tennis courts at Waterworks Park.

“I’m vehemently opposed to the wastewater treatment plant as proposed by Fehr-Graham,” he said.

Council members didn’t respond to Bramm’s comments, as is their practice during the public input portion of meetings.

Afterward, City Administrator Jim Wise said the city welcomed the opportunity to work with residents in choosing the site for the plant.

He said the council would be asked to decide at its Oct. 22 meeting to either build a new plant or rebuild the existing one. A decision on the site would be made later, he said.

Another neighbor, Pam Pickens, also said she opposed the site.

“This new proposed sewer plant will destroy an entire neighborhood’s park and green space, decimate housing values for those of us bordering the plant and have an untold effect on the quality of life for hundreds of people in the neighborhood,” PIckens said in an email last week.

In 2009, the city hiked sewer rates with wastewater treatment improvements in mind.

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