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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Town Board Hears Four Water Supply Possibilities

Issue Date: January 13, 2022

A special Town of Peshtigo Board meeting was held on Thursday, Jan. 6 for the purpose of a presentation from Strand Engineering for those impacted by (PFAS) contamination or for those that may be impacted in the future.A Water Supply Alternatives Analysis was provided by Project Lead Engineer Nate Ewanowski of Strand, with the first major update to come out of discussions between Town of Peshtigo, Tyco, Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) and other parties involved in identifying a long-term water solution for Town residents for Areas 1A (JCI Study Area), Area 1B (Settlement Area), Area 2 (DNR Investigation Area), Area 3 (entire Town ?? only for the instance of the plume spreading). The presentation was provided via zoom detailing the following four options: Town Groundwater Treatment Facility / Town Surface Water Treatment Facility / City of Peshtigo Retail Customer / City of Peshtigo Wholesale Customer. The report confirmed that all four options were determined to be viable alternatives. After a scoring matrix was applied, alternatives were ranked in the following order: #1: City of Peshtigo Retail Customer, #2: City of Peshtigo Wholesale Customer, #3: Town Groundwater Treatment Facility (pricing did NOT include PFAS filtration however, since the well placement would be beyond the plume), #4: Town Surface Water Treatment Facility. The projected costs for water supply and the distribution system were as follows: Area 1A (JCI study Area) $21,632,000 / Area 1A & 1B (JCI) Study Area and Settlement Area) $30,901,000 / Area 1A, 1B and 2 (entire DNR Investigation area including areas 1A & 1B) $72,214,000.

Option 1: City of Peshtigo Retail Customer

For this option, Town residents would become retail customers of the City of Peshtigo and receive water through direct extension from the city's water utility. The town would have to construct an elevated water storage tank and a water main. The town would not need its own water utility for this option since it would be sourcing water from the city. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) would determine water utility rates for the City of Peshtigo to town residents.

Option 2: City of Peshtigo Wholesale Customer: This option is similar to the retail customer option but would involve the City of Peshtigo selling water in bulk to the Town of Peshtigo rather than individually to town residents. This would require the town to establish, operate and maintain its own distribution system and water utility.

Option 3: Town Groundwater Treatment Facility: This option involves building a municipal groundwater treatment facility in the Town of Peshtigo This approach would draw water from aquifers, layers of rock or sediment that contain groundwater. However the water from a shallow aquifer would be limited. The sand and gravel in the town is permeated with PFAS and Strand did not think this would be a good solution. The other alternative is a deep well aquifer which would provide an adequate supply of water to the town, yielding between 100 to over 500 gallons per minute. This option, the town would establish a water utility system consisting of two deep aquifer wells that treat the water for radium contamination in addition to possibly treating iron, manganese and PFAS contamination.

Option 4: Town Surface Water Treatment Facility: This option draws surface water from the Bay of Green Bay and the town would establish its own water utility system. This would consist of one surface water treatment plant and two clarification and filtration treatment trains. Strand proposed the Little River Boat Launch at the intersection of Fairway Drive and Shore Drive as a possible site for the treatment plant, however, a more in-depth siting study is needed before determining if this is the best location.

The preliminary timeline provided was as follows: Alternative selection and negotiations: Early 2022. Preliminary Engineering Report: Spring 2022.Design and Permitting: Summer 2022 to Winter 2023. Water Main Installation: Spring 2023 to Winter 2023. Water Tower Construction: Spring 2023 to Summer 2024. Booster Pump Station Construction: Spring 2023 to Fall 2024 and Startup and Final Completion: Fall 2024. Water Specialist and member of the Town of Peshtigo Water Committee,Jeff Lamont asked, What would the estimated quantity of waste discharge be? Strand replied they would look that up to provide the answer. Other residents also had questions including John Kowalski who asked, "What size would the lines be"? Strand replied, "The general backbone structure would be 12" and 8" to supply to streets/ extensions. Chuck Boyle questioned, "Can the booster adequately power the system while the water tower is being built, since the water tower extends project timeline"? Strand replied, Yes, that would be feasible and may help with the timeline".

Town of Peshtigo Chairperson Cindy Boyle shared the many efforts the Town of Peshtigo has made in December to ensure the safety of town residents impacted by PFAS contamination including: 12/6: Summit Meeting #1 held on Dec. 6, Summit Meeting #2 held on Dec. 15, Town of Peshtigo met with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on 12/20. A working group meeting was held on 12/21 and finalization of the working group deliverables to collective satisfaction of the full board with dates between 12/27 and 12/30.

Besides the Jan. 6 Strand presentation, on Jan. 10, Attorney Reuter reached out to City of Peshtigo to schedule discussions for the week of Jan. 24.

The time frame for the City of Peshtigo to have completed evaluation of their systems capacity, including review of Strand data is between Jan. 17 and Jan. 21 to then be followed up with TOP and City of Peshtigo to meet and discuss water options between Jan 24 and Jan. 28 if the board selects this option.

The State Drinking Water Rule Making Process is ongoing with Town Board members providing verbal and written testimony supporting the establishment of safe ground and surface water standards. The Town has also identified over 40 locations for PFAS warning signs to be placed in those areas in an effort to protect the public health.

The only other item on the agenda for the night was to review annual compensation and recommendation for four Town Employees. After going into closed session to discuss the compensations and convening into open session recommendations were an overall .025 compensation increases for Road Work Employee Keith Swallow for an increase of .58 cents per hour, to $23.58/hour equating to an increase of $1,775.30 for the year; Recycling Center Attendant Bobby Eggener of .43 per hour to $17.43/hr for an increase of $199.09 for the year; RC Manager Paul McClain an increase of .50 per hour to $20.50/hr for an increase of $286 for the year andSummer Mowing employee Mark Pleshek for an increase of .45 per hour to $18.45/hr resulting in an increase of $286.20 for the year, amounting to a total of $2,546.59 for the year.


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