Following years of discussions and debates, it appears that plans for a second water plant on Greencastle's east side may now be dead.
Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray told members of the city's Redevelopment Commission Wednesday evening that a recent report by Earth Tech, an engineering company hired by the city to look at building the so-called "East Side Waterworks Plant," suggests that one is not needed.
The cost to build the new water treatment plant, proposed on land near Albin Pond and Rangeline roads, was estimated at more than $7 million, the mayor said. The project drew considerable criticism from the general public throughout the years and city officials were, by their own admission, in no place to take on such a project given the current financial picture.
The previous administration insisted the new plant was needed in the event of something happening to the current plant and the city being deprived of water. It was also seen as a means to provide water for the industrial area located on Greencastle's East Side should that area see significant growth in the future.
On Wednesday, Mayor Murray said she too believes a second water source is important for the city, but she was pleased with the prospect that a full-blown plant is not needed.
She said the engineer's report suggests that instead of constructing a new water plant, the city should make use of wells it already owns northeast of town.
City officials like the idea of having a second water source without the extra cost of a second treatment plant. Still, to use the water, the city will have to pay to have the wells connected to the current water plant next to the Putnam County Fairgrounds via underground waters lines.
That project, Mayor Murray said, will cost significantly less than a new water plant.
"Instead of $7 million plus, we're down to maybe $2 million," she said.
Members of the Redevelopment Commission seemed happy about the news as well and asked the mayor if she wanted to move the project forward this year.
She said that she would like to wait until next year because there are other projects currently on the table for the city.