ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WTSP) – The sewage crisis in St. Petersburg is expected to take center stage at Thursday’s city council meeting.
Councilman Karl Nurse said there will be discussion about what it will take to reopen the Albert Whitted wastewater treatment plant, which was closed in 2015 to save the city money. The plant is responsible for dumping a record amount of sewage into the Tampa Bay.
However, a consultant report that recently surfaced showed the city was advised to keep the plant open until there was additional capacity in other places. Council reports members were never advised of the report, and at Thursday’s meeting there will be discussion about hiring a forensic investigator to piece together the paper trail with hopes of finding anyone who had a part in concealing the report.
The consultants who produced the report have also been invited to appear before council, although Nurse said it is unclear if they will appear. However, with a $7 million city contract up for renewal, Nurse said he hopes they will show up.
"We've got millions and millions of dollars of projects that we need to do, and if we don't have a comfort level that we're getting truthful information, that's a pretty scary possibility as well,” he said.
Nurse said discussions about fixing the city’s aging pipe system will also come up. City workers have been running cameras into pipes throughout St. Pete to determine which areas need attention first.