SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Despite concerns raised by the President of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce city council members today approved a more than $37 million consulting agreement associated with a massive rebuild of the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The debate stems from delays in the formation of an advisory committee that would participate in the design stages of the plant’s reconstruction.

Chamber of Commerce President Chris McGowan raised concerns about the size of the consulting contract given the fact that the wastewater treatment plant reconstruction and design advisory committee still doesn’t exist. Hazen and Sawyer, a consulting firm out of Minneapolis is responsible for site evaluation and work in phase one of the plan, repairing issues at the current treatment plant.

According to McGowan, the city is ‘putting the cart before the horse’ by approving payment for the consulting agreement.

“The fact of the matter is, we were not made aware of the council was going to be voting on a $37 million contract this afternoon. I only learned of this late this afternoon, came to the council to express my concerns about working toward that large of a contract without first sitting with the major industrial users and asking for their input,” McGowan said.

The contract was approved 3 to 1, Mayor Bob Scott cast the lone no vote.

“I think it’s ok to have them, I don’t have a big heartburn about hiring these guys, I have a big heartburn that I think we should have had the committee formed by now. It’s just my opinion. I obviously didn’t win that today but we moved on,” Scott said.

Discussion surrounding the formation of that committee is ongoing with a tentative first meeting set for next week.