Davenport Vice Mayor Brynn Summerlin was candid in sharing his opinion about the Polk Regional Water Cooperative during a city commission meeting April 5.
The PRWC board meets next on April 28. On that date, elected officials from most cities in Polk County, as well as one county commissioner, will be voting on a $240 million federal loan to finance a portion of the cost of building two desalination plants and many miles of new water pipes in Polk County over the coming decade.
Some elected officials, Summerlin included, have questioned the need to borrow such a large amount of money and have questioned whether there are less costly options to ensure water supplies won't stop population growth.
PRWC staff traveled to multiple cities along the Lake Wales Ridge over the course of March, lobbying elected officials to support the project.
Summerlin said legal paperwork associated with the federal loan agreement still has yet to be formalized and distributed.
“Obviously, they did not listen to what we said,” Summerlin said. “One of the things we asked for was (specific) dollar amounts and they are apparently going to send us something with fuzzy dollar math again. That distresses me.
“They came and put on a big dog and pony show right here and the one thing that we told them was ‘tell us what it's going to cost to the best of your ability.’ Sounds like we are going to get the same rehashed mumbo jumbo that they were trying to peddle us at the night of that workshop. That's crap. I'm sorry for calling it what it is, but it's crap.”
Summerlin went on to say that he would read the final loan agreement but that he doubted it would change his mind.
Later, the city commissioners amended their own plan – which is to build a $1.6 million desalination plant that should meet city needs in the near future.