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DeKalb council to vote on emergency sewer line repairs

August 27, 2018

DeKALB – The city council could approve up to $100,000 in unexpected sewer line repairs on East Lincoln Highway during its Monday night meeting.

According to an email from the city’s finance director and interim city manager, Molly Talkington, during the week of Aug. 13, Tapa La Luna, 226 E. Lincoln Highway had issues with its sewer line, and in working with the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District, city staff discovered sewer service for the restaurant was blocked by grease and had partially collapsed. The email says it also was discovered that the Antique Treasures building, 218 E. Lincoln Highway, was served by a sewer line connected to the restaurant’s line, as well as a second illegally connected to the city’s storm sewer.

“Because of the age of the structures, apportioning blame is impossible,” Talkington wrote in the email.

Fixing the issue is expected to cost between $60,000 and $100,000, and the city is working toward an agreement with the wastewater district through which the district would supervise the repairs.

The city would then reimburse the district up to $100,000 for tax-increment financing-eligible expenses including repairs to public infrastructure, the private sewer lines and within the buildings, if necessary.

The city also would reimburse itself for any permit fees, rather than charging the owners, the email says.

Because Corn Fest ran through Sunday, the road was temporarily repaired to avoid a public safety hazard. If the council approves the repairs, emergency repairs will happen in the days after the council meeting.

“If this item is not approved, it is unclear what the outcome will be, given the magnitude of the cost involved,” the email reads. “The cost here is so significant because both the sanitary and storm sewers are involved, and because much of the work is in Lincoln Highway, which requires traffic control and a heavy-duty repair to accommodate truck traffic.”

The council will meet at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 400 S. Fourth Street, after the Committee of the Whole meeting at 5 p.m., during which city officials will discuss the city manager search and the qualities the city is seeking in candidates.

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