Clean water. Dirty water. Both are moving up the priority list for city planners.

City Manager Troy Powell said he will meet with leaders in neighboring Owasso to look at future partnership possibilities to solve long term water needs not only for Claremore, but also for Owasso.

“Water is going to be a concern for this community down the road,” Powell said. “Our current two sources of water can meet our current demands and those into the immediate future. However, they are not long term solutions.”

Powell said developing a partnership for addressing future water needs will take some time to work out and reminded City Council members in his weekly update that “water rights and water issues are growing more complicated by the week.”

In the meantime, the city awaits final word on possible bond refinancing, repositioning of the waste water outfall line to the Verdigris River and a meeting with the Department of Environmental Quality before making a final decision as to which direction to go with plans to build a new waste water treatment plant.

“We are still waiting on two key pieces of information,” Powell said.

The proposed $23 million waste water treatment project was put on hold when city leaders realized building the plant was going to exceed available funding by as much as $11 million dollars.

Engineers have presented the city with options that would reduce the size of the plant, change the site of the plant from the Verdigris location back into the city limits and realign the outfall line to the river in an effort to stay within the city’s budget.

Powell also has been looking at ways to refinance the long-term bond with the state Water Resources Board, which could shorten the term and reduce the bond costs significantly.

City leaders will be meeting with the Department of Environmental Quality on Jan. 4 to go over the city’s new options and ask for an extension on the current consent order.

“We will probably hold up on making our final decision until that meeting occurs. DEQ will play a big role in how we move forward with the new plant. As I am sure all of you recall, we are currently under a consent order to build the new plant,” Powell said.

City voters extended a one cent sales tax in 2004 to fund the construction of a $23 million waste water treatment plant on a 70-acre site south of Claremore, about one and a half miles from the Verdigris River.

The plant was originally designed to be a regional facility. However, other county communities chose to seek their own funding sources and build their own facilities.

Lack of regional support and increasing construction costs have resulted in a need

to rethink the site location and size of the

project.