Property purchase approved by council

Land may be used for future waste water treatment plant

A land purchase agreement with Shiva Real Estate, LLC, Subash Sahai Trust and Anil Sahai Family Trust was approved by the Webster City City Council Monday evening.

The measure was approved in a roll call vote with Councilman Jim Talbot voting no.

“Not at this time,” Talbot said.

The land, totaling 60 acres, is located east of Van Diest Medical Center and the Hamilton County Courthouse.

Total cost of the land was $1,440,000, which breaks down to $24,000 per acre.

This land was purchased by the city as a possible future site for a new waste water treatment plant for the city.

“This revolves around our future waste water needs,” said Webster City City Manager Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez. “As we’ve gone through this process of analyzing and assessing our waste water plant and our current capacity versus future needs to accommodate growing industries.”

This property was considered because of it’s close proximity to current city infrastructure, proximity to the river for discharge and the property’s availability for purchase.

“The site of our existing waste water plant is landlocked and bordered by the river on one end…the existing site is not suitable for expansion of our waste water capacity,” Ortiz-Hernandez said.

According to Ortiz-Hernandez, VeroBlue gave the city three different discharge scenarios ranging from 12 to 25 percent.

“They’ve talked about a couple different mechanisms to pre-treat or repurpose some of their water processes,” said Ortiz-Hernandez. They also have in mind processing sites or additional farms in Webster City, so it’s kind of up in the air in terms of what they’re ultimately going to be discharging to us in our sewer plant.”

Talbot voiced concern about not having exact figures from local industries on future discharge capacity.

“I’d like to see this put off for at least two weeks to see if we get any more concrete information come in,” Talbot said. “There are a lot of questions I think still need to be answered.”

“We have the information present to know that we have to build a new plant,” said Mayor John Hawkins. “What we don’t have now is how big the plant has to be.”

“The first step is needing the land to have a place to put the plant,” said Councilman Matt McKinney. “That’s what this piece of it is. We’re not making any decisions on the size of the plant.”