SALADO — Salado board of aldermen next week plan to discuss an option to acquire and expand an existing wastewater treatment facility at Stagecoach Inn in order to serve a section of Main Street.
The village would receive the 50,000-gallon-per-day treatment facility in a tax-deductible donation from Foster, a standing offer without a deadline, Mayor Danney McCort said.
Aldermen expressed support for a downtown sewer system since last year when a coalition of downtown business owners painted a bleak picture of a local economy struggling under the weight of aging, pricey septic tanks.
Three-part sewer plan
Acquiring the Stagecoach Inn plant was a piece of an early three-part sewer system plan discussed last summer, when the board considered, but opted against, calling a bond election in November.
Discussion centered on funding infrastructure improvements at the permitted Stagecoach Inn plant to service a section of downtown, building a second small plant in the north for the remaining businesses, then adding a potential third plant on the west side of Interstate 35 to service future development there.
Postponing the bond vote, the city continued investigating the northern location, which would have included the purchase of some privately owned land.
But that option became “unavailable,” City Administrator Jim Reed said, as the plant would require more land than previously estimated.
A preliminary engineering design for the northern location was approved in October, but has since been postponed until the board settles on a new direction, McCort said.
On Wednesday, a village subcommittee will meet to discuss the standing offer from Foster.
The plant could at least be a starting point, a way to reach some businesses on septic tanks along the south end of Main Street, McCort said.
“I personally hope (the board will) take it,” McCort said, adding the current plant is permitted for 50,000 gallons of effluent per day but only averages between 14,000 to 25,000 gallons depending on the occupancy of the hotel.
Any more than 50,000 gallons per day would require additional permitting, and the price tag of the necessary upgrades is unknown.
“Before we dive in and do it, there’s still some questions,” he said.