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Commentary: New city treatment plant is a good step

City officials and citizens recently saw up close the construction site of Willmar's new $86.2 million wastewater treatment plant and conveyance system.

They saw good construction progress that is creating the new wastewater treatment system located nearly six miles west of the city limits.

A financing plan is in place. The city already has received $3.5 million in grants and is waiting for Congress to fund a $15 million federal grant. For nearly a decade, the city has been increasing user rates 6.35 percent per year to help fund the project.

While site work began less than one year ago, officials hope to complete the project by Oct. 7, 2010, just over 13 months from now.

Willmar sorely needed a new wastewater treatment plant. The current plant, once located outside the city, is now surrounded by housing and business development. In addition, the plant is nearly 70 years old.

The new plant construction is quite impressive for those who have seen it.

Hopefully, the new plant will work just as designed. Best of all, the new plant, located to be out of sight, will find that its odor will not be detectable for nearby city or rural residents.