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The Villages
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Growth could be slowed by Wildwood’s wastewater capacity concerns

Wildwood City Manager Jason McHugh on Monday updated city officials on current and projected wastewater treatment capacity, reporting that new comprehensive plan amendment applications will be subject to delays.

At the city commission’s special meeting, McHugh assured commissioners that projects approved to date will not jeopardize the city’s ability to process flows generated by the new development. He explained planning staff will abstain from recommending any further comprehensive plan amendments, however, until the wastewater treatment facility upgrade project adds significant additional capacity. 

“I want to be clear that we have not and will not exceed permitted capacity with projects the commission has approved,” McHugh said. “And I want to maintain that level of assurance, rather than threaten the city’s capability to continue delivering high-quality service to all residents.” 

Properties already incorporated into the city’s comprehensive plan will not be affected and are already considered in capacity analysis. Only property outside the city’s limits and/or joint planning area would be subject to the change.

In a memo to the commission, McHugh explained staff will continue to monitor wastewater flows and scrutinize demand while the wastewater treatment plant project proceeds. That project is expected to bring the city’s total treatment capacity to 5.5 million gallons per day upon completion, scheduled for early 2027. 

“Wildwood prides itself on its level of service in all areas,” McHugh said. “As the city grows, it is essential we manage our growth in a way that does not compromise that service. I am confident in our proactive approach to planning and development and applaud the commission’s thoughtfulness and consideration of long-term consequences when balancing the wants and needs of both current and future residents and businesses.

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