A Wastewater Plant Update

WGTB logo PNG 112x89 Post 15 in a series. When Green Turns Brown is an examination of a small town’s digester-energy project, in which Whitewater, Wisconsin would import other cities’ waste, claiming that the result would be both profitable and green.

A Wastewater Plant Update from John Adams on Vimeo.

By 5.20.14, vendor Trane had a contract to plan for a waste-digester importation project and a energy-savings contract. Those deals were worth over a million dollars combined. On 5.20.14, Whitewater’s Wastewater Superintendent offered an update on various wastewater related projects at this plant.

(Every question in this series has a unique number, assigned chronologically based on when it was asked.  All the questions from When Green Turns Brown can be found in the Question Bin.  Today’s questions begin with No. 132.)

132. Wastewater Superintendent Tim Reel (Reel) begins a discussion of a waste-digester program with a slide that says “Digester Biogas Feasibility Study” but declares that “I won’t say that word up there tonight” (video clip @ 11:10). Hard to tell what to make of his remark: does he think the topic is controversial, or does he think that it’s not (and so he’s teasing about the implications of a waste importation plan)?

Either way, how professional is his delivery?

133. Reel mentions a meeting on April 10th about the digester, and says there have been others, all well-attended (“I want to thank Chris and Cameron and all those that attended” @ 11:17). Who else was there? Did Reel or someone else take notes?

134. Reel mentions other meetings with Trane, Donohue, Black & Veatch or others (April 25, May 7). Who was at those meetings, and did anyone take notes?

135. Reel mentions that he met with Trane on 5.20.14 (that day) on a meeting with Trane on market surveys, etc. Did Reel or anyone take notes at that meeting?

136. Reel mentions that he had discussed a performance contract with Trane. Does Reel have a professional background in contract review? What is Reel’s educational and professional background?

137. Reel’s describing discussions about financing, contracting, and marketing. What experience does Reel have in any of these fields?

138. Reel contends (in this presentation) that he’s on a fast track to get federal money for the project (it would be about one-fortieth of the cost if the total project costs of $20,700,000).

Is the receipt of that small percentage, or any percentage, of federal money an adequate justification for the fiscal, economic, environmental, health, and business cultural changes that waste importation will present for Whitewater?

139. For all these meetings, how did Reel’s relationship with Trane develop for Whitewater? What does how the relationship with Trane developed say, if anything, about Wastewater Superintendent Reel’s understanding and management of a large project?

Council Presentation, 5.20.14


Tomorrow: Studies.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

I was at a meeting about this, also I commented before.There’s no doubt that when you listen to city officials talk about the project they really think “they’ve got this”.They have no clue how they look to people who aren’t familiar.Totally no idea.This is a very small circle of people who buck each other up.You ask if his presentation is professional, but he think’s he’s hitting it out of the park.To his audience he probably is.To anyone outside his audience he looks like he’s not up to it.You are talking to different audiences.He wouldn’t even get what a different audience is like.

9 years ago

Well, yes, I suppose I do have a different audience in mind. The claims for, and results of, this proposal are worth recording and presenting beyond this website. Waste importation will prove beneficial or detrimental wholly apart from a local political decision about it. These posts are just the beginnings, notes more than anything else, along the way of writing and filming about this plan.