Center Creek 201 Board says Carterville couldn’t transfer its stake in the treatment plant if it sells its sewer system to a private company

Members of the Center Creek Wastewater Treatment Board on Thursday, Nov. 18, were in agreement that no outside interest – except for another city – would be allowed as a part owner of the sewage treatment plant that the board operates.

The treatment plant is owned and operated by three cities, Webb City, Carterville and Oronogo, with the board, which is comprised of the mayors  other representatives from each of the three cities.

The matter came up when Carterville Mayor Alan Griffin said that there has been a movement in his city to sell the municipal water system to Missouri American Water.

At the urging of a citizens group, Griffin said he met with Missouri American officials and found out they would only be interested in purchasing both the municipal water and sewage systems.

Webb City City Administrator Carl Francis said Carterville could sell its sewage collection system but not its stake in the treatment plant.

“No municipality can sell its share of the plant,” said Webb City Mayor Lynn Ragsdale.

To do so would require approval of the 201 board and each of the three city councils.

“We have to protect ourselves from outside interests,” said Ragsdale.

In addition to Griffin, Carterville is represented on the 201 board by members Brian Bowman and Larry Wald.

Criticism of Carterville’s water system increased last winter when its only well broke down, leaving residents without city water for several days.

Griffin said in an interview Monday that he thinks it would be a tremendous loss for the city to lose its water system.

He said his confidence that the system is adequate has increased for a couple of reasons:

• The well has been lowered 200 feet to increase its pumping capacity

• Ground will be broken soon for a second well in the south part of the city (Johnstown), which will be connected to the original well and tower.

“I’d just like to put it (the controversy) to rest,” Griffin said. 

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