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Above:  Engineer Jamie Hedden of Benton and Associates, makes their presentation on alternatives for treating Taylorville's water in the future, to City Council members Monday night.



After months of study and an hour and a half presentation Monday night by the city’s engineering firm Benton and Associates, the Taylorville City Council voted unanimously to build a new 6-million-gallon-per-day water plant, across the street from their present water treatment facility on Lincoln Trail on Taylorville’s northeast side.


The new plant will cost some 22-point-7 million dollars, and will be phase 2 of a 3-phase project.  Phase one will be keeping the present water plant, part of which was built in the 1950’s and part built in 1983, up to current regulatory standards, which could cost up to 2-point-5 million to keep on-line.


2 new wells, pipe modification, and the Taylorville Lake pump station rehab and main transmission line, will cost an additional 6-point-one-2 million dollars as phase 3 of the 3-phase project.  Phase 2, the construction of the new plant, is what was voted on and passed Monday night.


The Council will meet in special session on Thursday, August 29th, at 6 in the evening in the Council chambers, to decide specifics on what will be included in the new plant, what kind of time line the project will be on, and how much water rates will have to go up to pay for the new plant.


3 engineers from Benton and Associates—principal Reggie Benton, along with engineers Jamie Hedden and Mike Davis—appeared before the Taylorville Council Monday night, with Hedden making the presentation to Council members.  He told aldermen that a lot of the components at the present water plant need rehab, and many have surpassed their useful life.


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Hedden told the Taylorville Council the present plant currently generates about 2-point-2 million gallons of drinking water per day, but up to over 4 million gallons at peak water usage.


Hedden outlined the 4 alternatives the city had, which were to do nothing, to rehab and expand the existing plant, to build a new plant on city-owned property across the street where the former Taylorville Country Club was located, or do a combination of rehab of the existing plant and use reverse osmosis to treat water from the city’s wells, which was the most expensive of all alternatives shown.


Rehab’ing the present plant to current regulations, according to Hedden, will cost some 20 to 24-point-7 million dollars.  A new plant will cost some 22-point-7 million, and a combination of rehab of the existing plant and use of reverse osmosis to treat the city’s well water, was going to cost some 34-point-6 million. 


Operational expense for all 3 options were all around one-million dollars a year.


Hedden said funding can come from various sources, such as revenue bonds, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency low interest loan program, the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program, Community Development Assistant grants, the Illinois Finance Authority, and the newly-created Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority, which is a new state agency.


Hedden stressed to the Taylorville Council, that the city must have what Hedden called “a dedicated source of revenue” to pay off any debt, which means a water rate increase to Taylorville water customers, including the villages of Kincaid, Owaneco, and Langleyville. 


After an extensive discussion by aldermen, Taylorville City Council Water Committee Chairman Ernie Dorchinez made the motion that the city construct a new 6-million-gallon per day water plant, at a cost of 22-point-7 million dollars.  Dorchinez told Regional Radio News that Benton and Associates spent a lot of time preparing Monday night’s presentation.


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Dorchinez added the Council will make decisions on how much water rates in Taylorville will go up, and what financing the city will explore, in their meeting August 29th.


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Again, that special Taylorville City Council meeting to determine what kind of water rate hike there will be, and how the city will finance the new water plant, takes place in the Council chambers at 6 in the evening Thursday, August 29th.

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