On Thursday the city of Brawley will celebrate the grand opening of its water treatment plant. The city deserves to celebrate after a long period in which the plant was more of a problem than a solution to the city's need for more water capacity.
The water plant was controversial from the start.
In the early 1990s the city was informed by state health officials it had to improve its water quality. The City Council decided it would be more cost-effective to build a new plant rather than rebuild the existing plant.
Thus began years of work to determine how and where to build a plant and how much it would cost. In the mid- to late 1990s problems occurred that divided both the council and residents. First, it was learned the plant would cost more to build than anticipated. Then there was a movement to remove two council members, Steve Vasquez and Daniel Paramo, for leading the charge to build a new plant. That effort was followed by a movement to remove Councilwoman Jo Shields for her effort to have the council look at rebuilding the existing plant.