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Wausau poised to sell water to neighbors


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – A majority of Wausau City Council members approve of plans to sell the city’s water to six communities along Highway 29.

The city’s finance and capital improvements committees jointly approved an agreement Thursday that put the communities on notice of the city’s intent. The city’s Water Works commission approved the notice last month.

The agreement will go before the full City Council Tuesday, where it is expected to pass. Only two Council members were not present for Thursday’s meeting.

Thursday’s meeting satisfied concerns from some aldermen that the city’s aquifer could handle the increased demand and that residents wouldn’t bear additional costs.

“If the entire region can be vibrant, we all benefit,” Mayor Jim Tipple said as he argued in favor of selling the water. The move could net the city $200,000 in revenue annually.

Abbotsford, Colby, Edgar, Marathon City, Marshfield and Spencer have all expressed an interest in buying the city’s water via a yet-to-be built pipeline. The communities would have to pay for the pipeline’s estimated $25 to $30 million cost.

A city-commissioned study completed this year revealed the city has enough capacity to sell water to other municipalities.