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It won’t be long now ...

PRINCETON — The light can be seen at the end of the water treatment plant tunnel in Princeton.

In his report at Monday’s meeting of the Princeton City Council, City Manager Jeff Clawson said the new water treatment plant is nearing completion and should be finished by the end of the month. There have been significant gains made in the last couple of months, Clawson said.

The city broke ground on the $22 million water treatment plant project in early November 2011. The new plant, located on the northwest edge of town in the Princeton Technology Park, features a two-story building, which houses the processing plant, and a one-story section of building, which houses offices and a garage.

Clawson said some parts of the interior aspects of the new plant have already gone online, but the plant won’t go online for consumption for a while yet. But the end is definitely in sight, he said.

“It is finally looking like we can see the end of the tunnel and get that (project) finished,” Clawson said.

As reported earlier in the Bureau County Republican, the new water treatment plant will replace the existing facility at 3 N. Main St., which was built in 1930, with an expansion in 1964 and upgrades in 2000. The existing plant’s current capacity is 1.58 million gallons per day, which is about half of the design size recommended by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The new plant has a four million-gallon capacity.

At Monday’s meeting, Clawson also reported on a request from the Illinois Department of Transportation that all signs placed by service organizations and churches be removed from the right-of-ways along some of the highways in town to reduce clutter. IDOT is enforcing an existing protocol, and the request is not involved in the city’s wayfinding directional sign program.

Clawson also reminded residents that today, Saturday, is the annual Z Tour bike ride which begins and ends in Princeton. Last year there were 50 pre-registrations with more than 300 bikers showing up for the day. As of Monday, there were 220 pre-registrations, and the Z Tour organizers are anticipating 500 bikers for today’s ride. Residents are encouraged to be aware of the bikers and to make sure everyone is safe.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Ray Mabry recommended the council take time from future meetings to go as a group to visit sites which have been the subject of council discussion, such as Darius Miller Park and the city’s recycling center. The on-site visits would give the council more hands-on awareness as a group, he said. Commissioner Joel Quiram seconded Mabry’s motion.

After further discussion, Mabry’s motion failed on a 2 to 3 vote, with Mabry and Quiram voting yes and Mayor Keith Cain and Commissioners Bob Warren and Ray Swanson voting no.

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