A years-long discussion on the east side sewer project will go on for at least a little longer.

After a nearly two-hour discussion during a work session Tuesday night, the Stephenville City Council voted to table the issue until next Tuesday.

Funding for the project, which was identified in the city’s comprehensive plan in 2008, was recently approved by the Water Development Board for $17 million. 

The city has until March 31, 2019 to accept the loan.

Tuesday’s meeting began with a presentation by Director of Public Works Nick Williams who outlined the three-phase project. He said phase I, which most agree is the most critical, will cost the city about $9.5 million.

Phase II is estimated to cost $2.3 million with phase III totaling $4.4 million for a grand total of $16.2 million.

Council members Rhett Harrison, Carla Trussell and Sherry Zachery expressed concern about the project’s cost and the immediate need for phases II and III.

Mayor Kenny Weldon argued for the importance of the project and urged the council to move forward. He said putting it off any longer would be “devastating” to the city’s ability to grow.

“If we don’t take this money it’s going to another city,” Weldon said. “The time is right for Stephenville to do this project today.”