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Quiram calls water plant extravagant

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 4:10 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 4:19 p.m. CDT

PRINCETON — Princeton’s new water treatment plant continues to be a bone of contention with one Princeton City Commissioner.

At Monday’s meeting of the Princeton City Council, Commissioner Joel Quiram read a five-paragraph statement dealing with his recent tour of the new water treatment plant, located in the Princeton Technology Park, and what he called the extravagance of the plant.

Quiram said he’s heard many comments during the past months questioning the extravagance and the impressive appearance of the facility.

“It’s the most impressive building for miles around, but personally, I’d rather this description be attached to a building built with private funds versus one built with public money specifically tied to Princeton taxpayers,” Quiram said.

For various reasons, he has not supported the plant being built, Quiram said, adding as construction began and progressed, it became apparent the building was more than expected. Quiram has repeatedly abstained from voting on the payment of bills pertaining to the water treatment plant project.

In particular, Quiram questioned the office portion of the building, which contains a 745-square-foot room of reinforced concrete block. When he questioned the need for a “concrete bunker,” Quiram said he was told the room would stand in the event of a F5 tornado and could be used as a command center in the event of a city emergency.

When he asked the engineers to provide the cost of the concrete room and the brick and block work on the east, west and north sides of the building, as well as the arched windows, Quiram said he was told by the engineers the city would have to pay $6,750 to answer those questions. To pay for information that should be at the city’s disposal is ludicrous, he said.

Quiram also referred to a phone call from a senior citizen resident who said her utility bills have nearly doubled, mentioning the construction costs of the new water treatment plant.

Following Quiram’s statement, the council continued with its business, giving no response to Quiram’s comments.

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