Kirkland, Genoa trying for Illinois EPA water loan
Two communities in northern DeKalb County are trying for approval for pollution control and public water supply loans from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The Illinois EPA said in project summary documents that two communities in northern DeKalb County – Kirkland and Genoa – applied for the state agency’s loan programs. The loans would amount to $934,698 through the agency’s water pollution control loan program and $1,637,875 through the state’s public water supply loan program, respectively.
The City of Genoa applied for a public water supply loan through the IEPA to update its water main system on South Genoa Street, update the water tower and water well at 131 Prairie St.
Rich Gentile, public works director for the City of Genoa, said the department usually schedules repainting and maintenance for water towers every 20 to 25 years. He also said parts of the well are past their useful life and need to be updated to help increase pump output.
“It’s just a maintenance item,” Gentile said. “We’re just working on making certain improvements to keep the system reliable.”
Gentile said there is no anticipated formal public hearing date scheduled but there will still be a 10 day written public comment period.
Bill Ganek, administrative consultant for city of Genoa, said the city hasn’t put the project out to bid yet and doesn’t have final numbers on how the project’s loan repayment would affect residents.
“Depending on what the final numbers are, they may dictate rate increases and [or] or capital improvement fee increases,” Ganek said.
Construction is expected to begin in April and end March 2020, IEPA documents said.
Kirkland Village President Ryan Block said the village is looking to receive a water pollution control loan to create a better water retention area by Bull Run Creek in the Kirkwood subdivision.
Block said homes were built on the marshland when they really shouldn’t have been, and village officials were told by the state’s Department of Natural Resources and IEPA in the early 1990s to stop building in the high-risk floodplain area, which is between the creek and Malta Road in Kirkland.
“For whatever reason, they just kept building houses,” Block said.
Block said the proposed project will be subject to a public hearing that is targeted for 7 p.m. Jan. 17, during which more information on the circumstances of which the houses continued to be built in the area will be further discussed. According to the IEPA documents, the project would improve water quality, provide wildlife habitat and help protect homes from flooding.
“The whole project is basically giving back wetlands, per IEPA guidance, to the area,” Block said.
Currently, water users are charged $17.65 every other month for the first 4,000 gallons of water used, plus $4.40 per 1,000 additional gallons, according to IEPA documents. The village intends to add a flat fee of $14.54 as a line item for each water bill for stormwater capital improvements. The new charge would be implemented starting May 1.
Construction is expected to begin in March and end June, IEPA documents said.