The town of Holly Springs has withdrawn from the Western Wake Partners, a multi-town alliance that is building a controversial sewage treatment plant in New Hill.

The town officially announced its decision Sept. 23, leaving Cary, Apex and Morrisville as the remaining partners.

But Holly Springs was never a major player in the partnership, and had planned to use only the pipes outside the treatment facility.

“This is pretty much a business decision,” said Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears, who indicated to the Indy in August that he hoped to withdraw from the contract. “Five years ago, the plant seemed to be the only viable alternative for our town, but we are seeking other options, and those will certainly save more than the $30 to $40 million needed for the New Hill plant hook-up.”

For example, Holly Springs is researching the possibility of releasing more of their effluent—treated wastewater—into Harris Lake.

Sears said the town’s decision has nothing to do with the New Hill Community Association’s recent filing for a contested case hearing to stop the partners from building the $327 million plant. However, it does appear that now is the best time to get out of the partnership before litigation begins.

Holly Springs will be responsible for a portion of their financial responsibility as detailed in the contract, Sears does not have a figure of what the town will owe the partners at this time.