New sewer plant 50 percent complete

Monticello aldermen received updates on several public works projects at the city council’s April 9 meeting, including information on the $14.9 million waste water treatment upgrade.

“The project is going along very smoothly. We haven’t had any major hiccups, only minor stuff,” said city Public Works Director Jim Grabarczyk. “The project is about 50 percent complete. The reality is all the major structures are built but there is a lot of pipe and mechanical work that needs to be done.”

The project, partially taken on to address violations issued by the Illinois EPA, should result in a new sewer plant being fully operational by early 2019.

The original sewer plant was constructed in 1938 and has seen upgrades in 1965, 1972 and 1988.

Work on a pedestrian crossing of Market Street (Route 105) should begin later this year. It will result in a manually activated signal at W. Washington St., in addition to streetscape upgrades on the south side of Washington Street.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is requiring the city to test soil at two places on Washington, according to Capital Improvements Projects Manager Brett Baker. It is not known if there is contamination, but at one time there was a paint store at one location and fertilizer sold at another.

“At those two sites where we will be digging, we will drill a couple of holes in the ground, pull some samples just to be clear, so we don’t run into something unexpected when we start digging,” said Baker.

The project will also install accessible sidewalks at the corners of intersection.

Another effort expected to take place this year is the expansion of the public works campus. Grabarczyk said a low bid of $330,000 had been submitted that will add to existing structures on the three-acre area at 303 N. Railroad St. Indoor storage for equipment has been minimal after a city Quonset storage shed burnt in December of 2016.

The project will include the addition of 9,400 square feet of space. The city has approved borrowing the funds needed to pay for the effort.

Aldermen were also informed the resurfacing of Stoddard Court should take place with the oil and chip program this summer or fall. Water mains were replaced last year.

Baker said a drainage effort on Old Route 47 is 50 percent complete, and should also be finished this year.

Aggregation renewal
City Administrator Terry Summers said city hall has received several calls regarding a letter from Ameren sent to local residents. He said it is part of the second electricity aggregation contract that allows residential power users to combine forces with other communities and negotiate for a group electricity rate. The letter they received is to allow residents to opt out of aggregation if they wish. No response is needed unless a homeowner wishes to opt out of the group buy for power.

In other action, the council:
–was informed the landscape waste facility is now open from 9 a.m. until dusk daily;
–was told the planning and zoning board will address a request by Arbor Rose Assisted Living at 1009 S. Irving St. for a conditional use permit in order to allow for 16 units and residents at the facility. The PZB will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 16; and
–heard early bird pool pass sales are underway.

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