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Highway 29 communities ask for Wausau's water


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Six communities along Highway 29 in western Marathon and eastern Clark County want to tap into Wausau’s water supply.

The cities of Abbotsford, Colby and Marshfield and the villages of Edgar, Marathon City and Spencer have notified Wausau of their intent to buy some of the water.

Wausau’s Water Works commission will discuss the request when it meets Tuesday at 1 p.m. The City Council will get a briefing later that night.

The communities, who have come together as the Central Wisconsin Pipeline Plan Committee, will also ask the Marathon County highway department to use right-of-way for a pipeline that will carry the water along Highway 29.

Wausau has the capacity to sell water to communities for the next 20 to 30 years, a study released in September showed.

The city will have to drill a new well before it can supply any water, said Mayor Jim Tipple. That's because one of the city's wells always requires maintenance and the city wants to have a problem-free well to begin with.

Still unanswered is how communities will pay for the pipeline. The project could be eligible for funding under the federal economic stimulus package.