Stockton residents face costly solution to fix water treatment plant

Aug 25, 2022, 10:27 PM | Updated: Aug 26, 2022, 11:11 am

STOCKTON, Utah — An emergency meeting was held in Stockton Thursday night to discuss some of the problems the small city is having with water.

For now, residents are being advised to boil their water.

However, the bigger problem might cost millions of dollars to fix, and with as expensive as everything else is right now because of inflation, it’s not what residents want to hear.

“When you triple the water price, what do you expect?” Rick Wheeler said. “I had to be here to hear about it all.”

Wheeler is one of hundreds of Stockton residents who attended the emergency meeting.

It was held in a pavilion at the baseball field instead of city hall to make room for everyone who wanted to attend.

People stood outside just to listen.

“We just need to look at options,” Karen Hunter said.

Many Stockton residents aren’t happy facing the possibility of water rates increasing about $65 a month to nearly $100 a month.

Stockton Mayor Nando Meli knew people would be upset, so he called this meeting to get information to them.

He says the town needs to raise about $3 million for a new water treatment plant that’s in worse shape than anybody knew.

“This has been several years in the making. It’s not something that as just happened,” Meli said during the meeting.

The Jacob City Fire last month exposed the problems.

The city had to shut off the treatment plant and go to a backup well, but when the pump on the well failed, it had to go back to the treatment plant.

A boil order is now in place for residents as the city leaders figure out what to do with the treatment plant.

“We can probably do a little more to keep it going, but eventually it will have to be replaced or something will have to be done with it,” Meli said. “The cost will only increase if we keep kicking the can down the road.”

The mayor is hoping for state or federal grant money but says 70% of residents need to fill out a salary survey form to know how much the town can qualify for.

So far, only 25% have.

“I just want people’s attention on how dire we are in this,” she said.

The meeting lasted about 50 minutes.

Even though many people said it would be an explosive meeting, nothing really happened or was decided.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” said one resident walking back to his car. “There was no final anything. It was just kind of round the circle.”

From here, the mayor says he’s meeting with the state water managers and engineers to go over the problem and figure out the best way forward.

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Stockton residents face costly solution to fix water treatment plant