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Longview water supply

Longview abandonded its old water plant on the Cowlitz River at Fishers Lane because volcanic silt had worn it out.

Equipment in Longview’s old water treatment plant on Fisher’s Lane will be dismantled and auctioned for scrap; then the building will be demolished and the site sold, the City Council decided Thursday.

City officials recommended salvaging and auctioning the working equipment before the old plant is razed.

“There is salvageable stuff, even if it is just metals for recycling,” Longview Public Works Director Jeff Cameron told the council.

Some of the equipment might also be valuable to other older, still operating water treatment plants, he said.

The estimated cost for demolishing the plant is about $2.7 million. The bare land is estimated to be worth $300,000. Cameron said it is unlikely that revenue from an equipment and metals auction would cover demolition costs.

For decades, the plant drew water out of the Cowlitz River to supply the city with its drinking water. The city shut it down in 2013 when it switched its water supply to artesian wells bored at the Mint Farm Industrial Park.

Initial ideas for the site included turning it into a city park, community center, homeless shelter, animal shelter, library, storefront retail, multi-family housing or fish hatchery. Many of these options would involve special permits or zoning adjustments, Cameron said.

The Beacon Hill Water and Sewer District owns about 15 percent of the plant and will have a say in how to dispose of it.

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