Power Plant Fuels Questions to W.F. City Leaders

While those concerns center on the environment and scarce water, city officials say those concerns are mostly unfounded.

You see, most of the questions during today's Wichita Falls City Council meeting focused on water-- something power plants consume in great quantity.

One by one the questions flowed regarding Coronado Power Ventures building a natural gas power plant in Wichita Falls.

"I have a concern with trying to grow the city right now and bringing in more people cause we don't have the water to support the people who already live here," says Wichita Falls resident Donna Long.

"Boilers don't like waste water. They like the purest water there is even purer than potable water," asked her husband, Tom Long.

City leaders told residents who attended this meeting that construction of the power plant would not require much water and once the plant is operating its owners would pay for waste water from the city and treat it at its on-site reverse osmosis facility.

Coronado officials want to transform 77 acres of undeveloped land at the city's business park into a 700 mega watt natural gas power plant.

Economic development officials say if the deal goes through the company would invest millions of dollars, which would be a financial windfall for Wichita Falls.

"I think this is a win-win situation for the community, county and school district. All three will benefit immensely from this project," says Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham.

"We have lost thousands of jobs, good high paying jobs. Industrial jobs in the last 5 to 8 years. This doesn't even come close to replacing that," explains Darron Leiker, Wichita Falls city manager.

But officials hope to seal the deal.. paving the way for a power plant to help pump tax revenue back into the Wichita Falls community.

According to city leaders because there is such a demand for new gas fired power plants, they did not feel they would have to offer cash incentives up front to attract the company.

And while some residents expressed concerns about air quality and odors, city officials say natural gas is odorless and much cleaner than coal.

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