For the city of Lorena, 2011 will be a decisive year in anticipating what direction it will take for the future, as public works projects headline issues for the city council.

With a sewer system stretched beyond its capicity, the Lorena City Council has been working to finalize the deal for a sewage treatment plant that would serve the city for years to come, and allow the city to grow. The Waco Metropolitan Area Regional Sewerage System {WMARSS), a joint effort among the cities of Bellmead, Hewitt, Lacy-Lakeview, Lorena, Robinson, Waco and Woodway, although controversial in the past, is now ready to move forward.

“WMARSS is our only logical choice. It would get the city out of the sewage business and is the quickest way for us to emerge from a moratorium on new construction. It also helps us to share the cost with other cities,“ said city council member Paul Romer. “Anybody that thinks this is not in the city's best interest either does not know all the facts or has some sort of self-interest.“

Council member Glenn Hanna said he believes the city can finally encourage new growth once the new treatment plant is completed. The first thing on his agenda is to “get it built.”

While the location of the treatment plant had been a major concern, Romer said that it is no longer an issue for Lorena residents.“The area near Bull Hide Creek where the plant will be built is out of our city limits. It is my understanding that the issues from folks living in that area were addressed in a legal agreement,” Romer said.

Road condition and repair are other ongoing issues for the city. “When I drop my kids off at school, I want to drive down pothole-free roads, and I'm confident I'm not alone. The potholes are easier to fix than sewer and water rates,” Romer said.

Lorena resident Bobby Meador will challenge incumbents Hanna, Romer and Robert Braswell in the May 8 city council election.

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