Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sewer Questions & Answers

Sewer Frequently Asked Questions The sewer construction update, on page 1 of this newslet­ter, highlights current construction activities for all 6 divi­sions. I can add to that that progress is very good with few. complaints and great cooperation by everyone in­volved. There Is still much work to be done before we can consider the new sewer system operational. And, many factors will effect the completion schedule. Our contracts specify these completion dates:


Wastewater Treatment
March 1, 2011
plant (WWTP)
Pump Stations
March 31, 2011
Force main between WWTP
March 1, 2011
and irrigation farm
Far west, west and central
June 24, 2011
collection networks
North, south and east
August 23,
Iectlcn networks
Irrigation Site
March 1, 2011
Questions about the connection process, timing and costs are on top of everyone's mind; however, answers can only be our best estimate based on current Information and are subject to change with announcements from the Illinois EPA and decisions made by the City Council in the future.
Thank you to Brad Poppe who submitted a list of questions, on email, that I'm sure everyone has wanted to ask.
Q. Where will my house connect to the new sewer system? A. Bill Elias, Mike Beard and Billy DuBois have located every septic tank In town and talked to many homeowners about the most logical point of connection. Service "T's" are being Installed accordingly.
Q. Who will I be allowed to use (contractor) to do my con­nectlon? Can I connect myself?
A. The City Council will be considering if it's possible to enter Into a contract to connect (aII homes in the corporate limits, with one or more qualified contractors selected by a bid process. Similar to garbage collection. Alternatively, you will be able to use your own contractor or do the work yourself; although you must meet connection specifications defined by City code and pass Inspection by the City and an IIIinois licensed plumber.
Q. How much of the cost to connect my house to the new sewer system will I be responsible for?
A. Plans Include estimated connection costs to average $1,500 per house. This includes the cost of excavation, plumbing and taking the septic tank out of service. The homeowner will be responsible for 100% of this cost. Ef­forts to reduce this cost are ongoing.
Q. Will the city be willing to finance the connection of my house to the new sewer system, or Is there any other low cost financing or subsidies available?
A. These questions are being considered by the CIty Council but, because connections are on private property It poses some challenging questions with respect to using public funds.
Q.  Will there be requirements of contractors connecting to the new sewer system to register with the city?
A. I'm speculating that there won't be a registration proc­ess; however, their may be a connection permit process In order to accommodate timely Inspections.
Q. What Is the anticipated timeline for when homes will begin connecting to the new sewer system?
A. Nothing can be connected before the pump stations and WWTP are completed on or about March 31, 2011.
Q. Will my monthly sewer bill increase as a result of this project? And by how much?
A. Monthly sewer rates can't be calculated until the total project cost Is known. Specification changes on remaining work could impact contracted obligations slightly. I an­ticipate a small Increase as the worst case scenario.
Q. If my septic system Is relatively new on my house, Is It a requirement: for me to connect to the sewer?
A. To comply with EPA loan requlrements and to insure that all pollution discharge violations are corrected aIl homes will have to be connected and all septic tanks will have to be taken out of service.
Q. Is there a deadline by which I must have my house connected to the sewer system?
A. I anticipate that there will be a connection deadline associated with the terms of the IEPA loan agreement but I don't know the date at this time.
Q. How willI know when to schedule a contractor to con­nect my house to the sewer?
A. Stay tuned.
These answers may be helpful In budgeting and planning over the next several months; however, I have to provide the following disclaimer ... Terms are subject to change with notice. All of these questions will be considered by the City Council. I encourage you to talk to the Alderman in your ward with your thoughts, watch the Council Agenda for these topics and check the City web site for updates and changes. It is a very dynamic project with some Important details yet to be determined.
Sincerely, John Mohr Mayor

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