More townships pull of out CLRSDTwo more Douglas County townships have decided to drop out of the Central Lakes Region Sanitary District. Supervisors for both LaGrand and Moe Townships voted unanimously Monday to withdraw from CLRSD.
By: Mike Enright, Alexandria Echo Press
Two more Douglas County townships have decided to drop out of the Central Lakes Region Sanitary District.
Supervisors for both LaGrand and Moe Townships voted unanimously Monday to withdraw from CLRSD.
Both townships were a part of the first phase of the district’s proposed multimillion-dollar centralized sewer system, which has been on hold for months as CLRSD officials wait to see if the project will be eligible for money from an $819 billion federal stimulus plan currently making its way through Congress.
Since December, five of the six Douglas County townships included in CLRSD have voted to leave the district. Only Carlos remains.
The LaGrand and Moe decisions happened days before a regularly scheduled district board meeting on Thursday that was expected to focus on the CLRSD’s recently revised comprehensive plan, and likely the question of the district’s future as well.
For LaGrand Township supervisors, the choice to withdraw from CLRSD boiled down to one reason: money.
“This is just too expensive when you’re talking about the thousands of dollars it costs LaGrand residents [to hook up to central sewer],” LaGrand Township Supervisor Richard Trombely said in an interview Wednesday.
Fellow supervisor Jim Jensen said although he voted to leave CLRSD, as a board member of the Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District he thinks that long-term centralized sewer is the best way to treat wastewater.
“But we have to have it so it’s a reasonable cost, and that just didn’t happen with CLRSD,” Jensen said. “At this time, and the economic downturn we’ve got, it’s just not the time to do it.”
Trombley said he would like to first look into potential alternatives to a large, centralized sewage treatment plant.
“I think it was a good thing to leave,” Trombley said. “LaGrand Township was a very small part of this thing. A very small part.”
But LaGrand is big enough that after it voted to leave CLRSD Monday afternoon, Moe Township followed suit that same evening, said Hardy Huettl, Moe Township supervisor.
“That was our primary reason”, Huettl said. “We can’t do half [of Lobster] Lake, so we were kind of forced to [withdraw].”
Moe Township Supervisor Frederic Krafthefer said he voted to leave the sanitary district because of the number of township residents who have come out in opposition against the project.
“I know I’ve been hearing a lot of concerns from people living around Lobster [Lake] that think the cost of the big pipe is too high right now,” Krafthefer said. “And quite frankly with the way the economy is, and the way prices were coming in, I had to agree with them.”
As of press time, no district officials could be reached for comment.
Look for a full recount of Thursday’s CLRSD board meeting online Friday at www.echopress.com and in next Wednesday’s print edition.