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News

Crest Hill keeps wastewater treatment expansion plans open

CREST HILL – Consolidation of the east and west waste-water treatment plants in Crest Hill still is on the table, but city officials are not yet committing to that course of action.

The City Council opted on Monday to continue with the next phase of treatment plant expansion analysis by contracting consultant Strand Associates at a cost of $18,000.

That phase involves examining the possibility of keeping both waste-water treatment plants.

“The city is exploring all of the options available,” Mayor Ray Soliman said.

The east treatment plant was renovated about three years ago with $24 million. But the aging west treatment plant, built in 1968 and last upgraded in 1993, is undergoing constant repairs.

Two years ago, the city approved the authorization of $20.3 million in bonds to fund reconstruction of the west plant at Theodore Street and Gaylord Road. But last year, Strand Associates was hired on a $22,200 contract to explore the feasibility of expanding and consolidating to the east treatment plant.

The recent results of that study was an upfront cost of $41.3 million for consolidation, but also cost savings in the long run, Interim Director of Public Works Paul Burris said.

Burris said the city was able to compare costs with a total waste-water handling of 3 million gallons, with consolidation being a better option.

But that total is almost at capacity. So the city wants to look at its options with a total capacity of 4.3 million gallons, Burris said.

New website

The city also approved sending out requests for proposals for design, implementation and maintenance of a new website.

Some of the goals of the initiative is to provide a more user-friendly, informative and interactive website for residents, according to the request for proposal.

That includes features such as emergency alerts, mobile integration, archive center for city documents and announcements, an interactive calendar, the ability to build or upload city forms, form tracking, easy access to permits, licensing and municipal codes, financial information and a transparency page.

There was no discussion among the city council about the measure. But the vote to approve it wasn’t unanimous.

City Councilwoman Tina Oberlin was the lone dissenter of the 7-1 vote. After the meeting, she said she wanted to wait before redesigning the website.

“We’re in the process of selecting a new city administrator and we are so close,” Oberlin said, referencing the search to replace John Tomasoski, who left the city for the village of Mokena. The city council hired Cameron Davis as the interim administrator in October.

“I think we should have put it on hold until we hired the new, permanent administrator,” Oberlin said.

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