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Mabton wastewater plant in need of renovations

MABTON - In a fairly quick city council meeting held last night in Mabton the city council heard from two representatives from the Washington State Department of Ecology about the city's wastewater treatment plant.

The plant is at its capacity and is in need of renovations, according to Jean Hayes and Sanjay Barik of the Department of Ecology.

The two were at last night's workshop before the meeting to discuss options with the council on what they can do.

It was suggested that the city apply for a loan from the department of commerce. The loan application deadline is Dec. 1.

One issue is how the city gets rid of the solids from the wastewater. The solids are laid out in beds where they dry. The state representatives recommended upgrading this system to one that is less labor intensive.

Mabton City Councilman Mario Martinez questioned both Barik and Hayes about using the solids to create ethanol. Martinez said he would like the city to be able to produce enough ethanol to run the city's fleet of vehicles.

Hayes told Martinez a cost/benefit analysis would have to be done to see if that's feasible.

It was decided that Mabton Mayor Velva Herrera would download the application and get it started. Both Hayes and Barik said they were available to help with any questions if needed.

Also at last night's council meeting, the 2010 preliminary budget for the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments was reviewed by the council. The city's dues will go up $6 from last year's assessment of $1,313.

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