By Owen Reissmann for Wausau Pilot and Review

At the Wausau Water Works commission meeting, held Tuesday, one commission member suggested Public Works Director Eric Lindman bring a discussion of the proposed $80 million wastewater treatment facility upgrade to the Wausau neighborhood meetings to get more community exposure and increase transparency for city residents.

Mayor Robert Mielke confirmed that this has been done with other projects in the past and certainly can be done in this case as well.

Eric Lindman shared that several conversations have taken place in the past month with other local areas regarding potential regional partnerships. Marathon has internally requested the amount needed to regionalize but has not yet made a formal decision. If Marathon comes in, a new clarifier will be necessary as well as some immediate work that could otherwise be put off for awhile. However, these costs would, of course, be shared, should Marathon be included.

Eric Lindman said that preliminary designs should be completed in January. At that time Donahue, the design firm appointed for the project, should also have a presentation ready with updated cost projections.

At least two more presentations of the wastewater treatment facility upgrade are intended—perhaps committee of the whole and neighborhood groups. Lindman shared that the previous presentations he has given have provided feedback on how better to present and which specific information residents are most interested in.

One commission member pointed out that in 20-30 years a whole new upgrade will be required in Marathon if they do choose not to regionalize.

Responding to inquiry from another member, Eric Lindman also reported that the design for the river crossing has been started. Some river borings have been started and soil and data samples collected.