Sioux Falls City Council approves wastewater treatment facility expansion

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - In a 7-1 vote, the Sioux Falls City Council voted to approve a $260 million dollar wastewater treatment facility.

“Foundational investments in the critical infrastructure needs of Sioux Falls is a campaign pledge I will continue to uphold,” said Mayor Paul TenHaken.

The new plan would expand the current plant from 21 million gallons a day up to 30 million.

“Recognizing that our community continues to grow and thrive while continuing to provide the infrastructure necessary to meet the needs of today’s population base is important to our city’s success today and in the future," said Mayor TenHaken.

"Just like the original water reclamation plant built in the 1980's and the city’s investment in Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in the 1990's, this is a legacy project that will benefit the community and decades in the future,” the Mayor said.

The current plant has been operating on the north side of the city for the last 30 years.

"It's a critical project. It's something that we need to do for the health and safety of our citizens. We're nearing capacity at our plant and we need to expand it and we need to act now because it's going to take about five years to bring online, and it's something that is going to set us up for growth for the next 50 years," said Councilor Greg Neitzert with the city of Sioux Falls.

Public Works Director Mark Cotter said the average customer uses just under 5,000 gallons a month.

According to the city's estimate, starting next the average sewer bill will jump from $32 to a little more than $34.

Councilor Theresa Stehly was the only member to vote against it. She has previously voiced concerns over the project's cost.