Documented by Owen Reissmann for Wausau Pilot and Review

Director of Public Works and Utilities Eric Lindman and Mayor Robert Mielke were among the city officials who met Wednesday with members of the public at Northcentral Technical College to share information and ask for public input on the proposed relocation of Wausau’s water treatment plant.

Officials say the current site of the water treatment plant does not have adequate surrounding land to allow for expansion, which is necessary to make improvements required by future state regulations. Hesitating on investing $29 to renovate the plant now could mean the city would wind up requiring relocation anyway, officials said. That’s why relocating the water treatment plant is being advised by city officials as a long-term strategy.

The proposed location of the new facility is a city-owned property past the end of East Campus Drive on Bugbee Avene. One resident at the public meeting asked what would be done with the land surrounding the new facility. Mr. Lindman responded by saying that some of the land could potentially be developed, but a fair portion would need to remain undeveloped as it would serve as the site of a future well should a new well at some point be needed.

One resident inquired what would happen if there was future need for additional expansion. The land directly to the north belongs to the municipality of Maine. Thus, were there such a need, the city could potentially seek permission from the town of Maine to expand north into the open property there. Officials confirmed that there are no regulations that say the plant must reside entirely within the city of Wausau.

One citizen asked if this would potentially be a future site, also, of a waste water management plant, but Lindman said that no such move would occur. The large planned upgrade to the wastewater plant should allow it to function successfully for decades into the future, he said.

If the plan goes through, construction will begin in 2020 and be completed by the end of 2021, taking about 18 months.