Plans to build a new water treatment plant for Waterloo residents took a big step forward on Monday night.
The Waterloo City Council approved an ordinance authorizing the city to borrow up to $25 million from the Public Water Loan Program through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the text of the decree, the loan will be repaid from the income of the system, with principal and interest paid semi-annually. The loan term is 20 years.
The decree also states that “sufficient funds are not on hand and legally available to cover” the cost of new factories in the city without loans.
Last year, the city purchased nearly 28 acres in the 7800 Bluff Road area from Valmeyer Village for $215,000. The land will be the well site for the new water treatment plant.
In July 2019, Waterloo purchased 9.17 acres of land near East Hunters Ridge, east of Valmeyer, for the future site of the treatment facility. The purchase cost was $229,250 and included 8,830 feet of easements to the west and east of the future site for the installation of water lines.
The water source for this new plant is the Mississippi Aquaphor north of Valmeyer.
Once completed, the new plant in Waterloo will be able to hold 3.5 million gallons of water per day. Currently, Waterloo uses about one million gallons per day.
Waterloo announced plans in February 2019 to build its own facility and leave its current supplier, Illinois American Water, at the end of its existing contract, which expires in October 2024.
Next steps for the project include bidding ahead of construction of the plant, which is expected to take approximately 12-14 months to complete.
In related news, city staff began work on Monday to lay water pipes for the site of a planned new water tower on the VFW property in Waterloo as part of the new treatment plant project.
The city purchased the land for the new tower for $75,000. The new tower has a storage capacity of 500,000 gallons.
The existing tower next to Waterloo City Hall has a capacity of 250,000 gallons. The estimated cost of the new water tower is $2.5 million.
Also Monday night, the city council revised city ordinances to expand residency requirements for all city employees to within 10 miles of Waterloo City Hall. The previous residency requirement was 1.5 miles.
The commission also revised city bylaws on the use of chain link fencing on public property, including splash pads and pickle courts.
The revised ordinance now states: “Fences constructed of chain link material are not permitted on the rear front of the housing structure, with the exception of swimming pools, splash pads, tennis courts and bubble courts on public property.”
Another revision to city ordinances was made Monday night, and it involves ground or pole solar systems.
Waterloo zoning administrator Nathan Krebel explained the move was proactive with the city’s new net metering policy.
“Right now, we have 10 solar roof-mounted systems in Waterloo, and we know that sooner or later someone is going to apply for a ground mount or a full mount, hoping it’ll be in their backyard,” Krebel told the city councillor, adding that there were concerns that large such systems would be blocked. Placed on a smaller lot and caused problems with next-door neighbors.
“The decision was made at this time to continue to say there are no poles or ground mounted systems,” he said.
Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith also read a proclamation designating March 29 as Waterloo’s Vietnam Veterans Day.
“While no words can be entirely worthy of their service, and no honor truly suited to their sacrifice, let us remember that it is never too late to pay tribute to the men and women who answered the call of duty with courage and courage,” Smith read .
At hand were Waterloo VFW Commander John Fuller and VFW member Gerald Nungesser, a Vietnam Veteran.
On March 29, the city will host a Vietnam Veterans Day event at 10 a.m. in front of the Monroe County Courthouse near the Bandstand.
The public is invited to commemorate and “welcome home” those who served during the Vietnam War.
In preparation for Firebird Fest in Waterloo on May 21, City Council approved spending of $1,200 from the city’s hotel-motel tax fund for a total cost of $3,100 for K-SHE 95’s telecast appearance at the event .
Other outcomes of Monday’s meeting included approval of Tony Groves’ application for a Waterloo landscaping grant for his property at 130 W. Mill Street and approval of Erika Patel’s home salon at 1211 Lou Del Street. Special Use License.