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Local News

New Lenox finalizes sewer plant site purchase; approves new police salary contract

Board also approves new police salary contract

From left to right: Debbie & Art Goff, Joe Winslow, Maureen Pinta, Bill Walter, Keith & Marianne Hospodar, Jill Blatzer, Dennis McLaughlin, Stephanie and Steve Lieb are all smiles after a village board meeting Monday night because the village finalized the purchase of a site for a controversial large-scale sewer plant away from their homes.
From left to right: Debbie & Art Goff, Joe Winslow, Maureen Pinta, Bill Walter, Keith & Marianne Hospodar, Jill Blatzer, Dennis McLaughlin, Stephanie and Steve Lieb are all smiles after a village board meeting Monday night because the village finalized the purchase of a site for a controversial large-scale sewer plant away from their homes.

With the purchase finalized July 20 for the future site of New Lenox’s regional wastewater treatment facility, the village is moving forward with mandatory next steps before construction can start on the $70 million project.

Village trustees on Monday approved a $216,000 contract with Strand Associates for planning services, which include building the estimated $50 million plant and downgrading the two largest of the village’s treatment plants into pumping stations.

Strand will help the village design a plan for the project, which the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency must approve before the village can move forward with construction.

“This is the clock starting for two years of planning and then two years of building,” Village Administrator Kurt Carroll said.

Carroll also confirmed the village had finalized the purchase of the 80-acre property at the southwest corner of Laraway and Gougar roads July 20.

Residents applauded the action, after months were invested in ensuring the village would finalize the purchase for a site that was farther away from their homes in the Royal Meadows subdivision and unincorporated land on Delaney Road.

Opponents of previous plans had packed Village Hall, insisting the plant not be placed near their homes.

After the measure was approved, Trustee Annette Bowden, who presided over the meeting because Mayor Tim Baldermann was absent, said, “Amen. Congratulations, we’re moving forward, although that means we probably won’t see your smiling faces for a while.”

Maureen Pinta was one of many Royal Meadows residents who had been outspoken against the village’s initial move in January to buy a site for the plant on Delaney Road, one-quarter of a mile west of the subdivision.

“Once again, we want to thank everyone on the board for listening to us,” Pinta said.

Carroll said the village already has $18,000 of the $216,000 contract on finding alternatives to the original Delaney Road site, after residents expressed outrage over a future extensive sewer plant near their homes.

New police sergeants’ contract approved

New Lenox’s police sergeants will receive at least 2.5 percent annual pay increases with their new four-year contract that the board also approved Monday night.

The department’s five sergeants will receive a 2.5 percent pay raise for the next three years and then a 3 percent raise in the fourth year, according to the agreement negotiated with the Metropolitan Alliance of Police.

Salaries for sergeants will increase from a base salary of about $102,916 in 2017 to $114,154 in 2021.

Carroll said the contract was “strikingly similar” to the last contract with the union, as well as the contract the village approved last year with the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents its patrol officers.

Other provisions include matching
sergeants’ compensatory time with that of the patrol officers’ and mandating that unused holiday time must be paid out, Carroll said.

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