Land for new water plant

The city of Vandalia took the first step toward the construction of a new water treatment plant by purchasing land for that facility.
In a meeting that lasted just a few minutes on Monday evening, the city council approved the purchase of property on Jackson Street from the Rev. and Mrs. Peter Kolb.
The property is located just west of the current water plant, with the sale including four lots, along with some additional property, according to Alderman Andy Lester.
The purchase price for the property, which includes a house, is $168,000. The Kolbs are selling the property in advance of moving to Hong Kong.
In recent years, the council has discussed the need for a new water treatment plant, with one of the main issues being the condition of the current plant, which was built in the early 1950s.
Water Plant Superintendent Marty Huskey said the daily production capacity at the current plant is 1.5 million gallons, and that the city has at times in recent years almost reached that capacity, due to water needed for major fires in the community.
In November 2012, Scott Hunt of Hurst-Roche Engineers of Hillsboro told the council that he had discovered a number of structural issues during a general walk-through of the facility.
At that time, the council agreed to have a contractor repair the roof structure in the pump room.
In December 2013, the members of the council’s water and sewer committee said that they favored using Crawford and Associates, which had recently opened an office in Vandalia, for preliminary design work on a new water plant.
After the property purchase was approved on Monday, Mayor Rick Gottman announced that another council work session on rail safety will be held at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday. The council will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, one day later than normal due to the observance of Presidents’ Day on Monday.
The work session comes two weeks after city officials and a number of local residents expressed their opposition to a plan presented by the Illinois Commerce Commission and Illinois Department of Transportation.
That plan called for the closure of Main Street between Fifth and Eighth streets, and reducing traffic to one direction on both Fifth and Sixth streets.
The plan was drafted in response to an accident at the Sixth Street crossing on the night of last year’s Halloween parade that claimed the lives of four members of a Greenville family.
After hearing opposition to the proposed plan, Mike Stead of the ICC told a crowd of about 40 people, including city officials, that they would go back to the drawing board to draft a new plan.
In announcing next Monday’s meeting, Gottman said, “They have asked us to draw up a plan.”

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