While some people now support the plant because of GenX, a political line has been drawn. There are three seats open on the five member H2Go board, and as of right now five candidates have WWAY they are running for those open spots.
Three candidates in opposition of the plant are Brayton Willis, Bill Beer, and Don Yousey. Incumbents Carl Antos and Ron Jenkins are running for re-election in support of the plant.
“I think there’s other alternatives out there that we need to explore to find a solution quickly, but more importantly correctly,” Willis said. “So that those in our community that are less fortunate than us, can afford those kinds of solutions.”
While three of the candidates are opposed, the two others are in full support and are determined to see their hard work pay off.
“The reverse osmosis plant is expandable,” Antos said. “It’s affordable. And it’s easy to get good quality water. Probably the best water in the whole 5-county area.”
The biggest argument is the cost of the multi-million dollar plant and how it will affect the community financially.
“It’s not going to impact them at all, not at all,” Jenkins said. “When I say impact them, their water bills not going to go up. At first you might see a 2% increase. But no, other than that it’s not going to go up extremely high.”
While Jenkins says there will be no significant increase, Beer suggests otherwise.
“Ya know, it’s been said that ‘well, we don’t have to raise the rates if we build the R.O. plant,’ we dispute that,” Beer said.
Those running in opposition say the biggest thing they are fighting for is affordability for the community.
“If you’re gonna do it, it ought to be done regionally. It’s kind of like health insurance. If you have a small pool of people on health insurance, it gets very expensive. There’s only 10,000 and customers inside of this district. If you spread that across 100,000 customers, the risk is much less and the cost can be spread further. And that’s why regional approach is better than us doing it locally,” Yousey said.
However, Jenkins and Antos both argue the plant is an investment for the future, and well worth it.
The two current H2Go board members will remain in their position for the next two years. As for the other incumbent, Bill Browning, he has not decided whether he will run in the election.