The debate over Water Treatment Plant Four returns to City Hall this week. Council members will direct city staff to figure out how much it would cost to postpone building WTP4, which is under construction now. The Austin-American Statesman reported the story last night when the Austin City Council Agenda was released yesterday evening with a resolution sponsored Council Members Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison and Chris Riley.
“Morrison, Spelman and Riley are calling for the council to stop spending money on the plant until the city staff completes the financial analysis. The huge facility is being built in phases; parts of it that are under way would continue, but work that is set to start soon would not.”
The three council members have all voted against the treatment plant in the past, arguing that the city doesn’t need a new water treatment plant right now. Newly elected council member Kathie Tovo made it clear she did not support the decision to build the plant during her campaign this spring. With her on the dias now, Spelman, Morrison, and Riley could have the votes to halt WTP4 if they want to.
The council has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on studies and construction. City staff would need to evaluate how much money has already been spent on WTP4 and how much could be lost if contracts are severed.