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Who’s got the better plan?

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 7:44 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 8:02 p.m. CST

SPRING VALLEY — Spring Valley aldermen heard two distinctly different options for fixing the city’s water problems at Tuesday’s joint Water and Sewer/Finance Committee meeting.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has required the city to make improvements to its wastewater treatment plant and fixing or replacing the east and west sewer interceptors to deal with overflow issues.

Larry Good, engineer with Chamlin and Associates, offered the aldermen two different options, with one costing as much as $3.3 million. The work would last until 2019.

Mayor Cliff Banks had a different alternative. He said that after meeting with a variety of financial planners and bankers, he had come up with a plan that would cost $1.7 million.

“And not raise one penny of the water rates,” Banks said.

Banks said Good’s option, on the other hand, could raise water rates by as much as $3.36 per resident.

Banks said the first part of his plan called for buying the right tools for city workers, which would include a vacuum truck, camera to televise the sewers and a backhoe, at a cost of $311,000.

City workers would be used to clean the sewers and interceptors, and contractors would be hired to cut the trees down and excavate for the new roads.

Banks said the equipment could be paid for through capital improvements, and then the equipment would belong to the city when the work was done. It could then be used by city workers to televise the city’s own sewers, which Banks said was currently hired out at a cost of $3 per foot.

“That gets quite expensive,” he said.

Aldermen were concerned that Banks’ plan didn’t include all the costs that would be incurred, and that the work could be delayed if the city workers became busy with other projects.

The next joint meeting of the committees will be at 6:30 p.m. March 7.

Banks said he would ask the council to take action on the $311,000 for purchasing the equipment at the March 4 meeting.

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