ABILENE, Texas -

The Abilene City Council may consider initiating eminent domain for a pipeline project.

Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private property and convert it to public use.

Abilene City Manager Larry Gilley said the pipeline is "critical" for our future water supply from the Hamby Wasterwater Treatment Plant. The Hamby plant is currently being improved in order to pump treated, effluent water back into Lake Fort Phantom Hill.

At first, all property owners on the pipeline's route agreed to the project. Now, however, one of them has decided to not grant the city easement.

The council will decide on Thursday if there is a public purpose for the pipeline. If so, they'll then authorize city staff to move forward.

Gilley said this is a last resort and negotiations with the property owner will continue.