Litchfield Makes Moves For New Industrial Park

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"The interstate now runs through Litchfield."

Those were the words of Litchfield Mayor Steve Dougherty after the aldermen voted to annex three uninhabited territories into the city, which will one day be Litchfield's new industrial park. The motion passed 7-0, with Alderman Tim Wright absent.

The motion was one of two pertaining to the new industrial park, which city officials hope will bring new economic opportunities to the city.

The other motion was to approve the proposals from Heneghan and Associates, PC for engineering services for the new industrial park water main extension and sanitary sewer main extension for an amount not to exceed $312,500.

Alderman Ray Kellenberger commented on the "humongous amount of money" that the proposal consisted of, with project engineer Ronnie Paul of Henegahan and Associates agreeing with the Kellenberger's comments.

Paul said that while it is a great deal of money, he had rechecked the projections and the numbers are correct. The overall construction costs for the project is projected at $4.3 million and will require extensive work in design, permitting, easement acquisition,  bid assistance, construction observation, inspections and more.

City Administrator Tonya Flannery noted that the cost is for both the water main extension, which will cost $117,500 for engineering services, and the sewer main extension, which will cost $195,000 for engineering services.

Flannery also said that the design work needs to be completed in order to apply for the IEPA permit and federal and state funding for the project.

The council would approve the vote unanimously. The money for the project would be paid from long term economic development infrastructure appropriations allocated in the budget.

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Following is a breakdown of engineering costs proposed by Heneghan and Associates for water and sewer line extensions to the proposed  west industrial park.

        Sewer    Water

Topographical Survey    $8,000    $5,000

Design Engineering,

 Plans/Specifications,

 IEPA Permitting    $65,500    $40,000

Bidding Assistance,

 Construction Admin.    $57,000    $35,000

Easement Exhibits    $12,000    $2,500

Record Drawings    $5,000    $5,000

Construction Obersv.    $35,000    $25,000

Road/RR Permitting    $12,500    $5,000

Total    $195,000    $117,500

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In other economic development business, the city council agreed to an addendum to the redevelopment agreement with UCB/Illini Bank to benefit Pakem Partners for the striping and signage along Continental Boulevard.

In April, the council agreed to provide $74,900 toward the construction of the street, with the developer now requesting that the city complete the striping and signage once the road is completed. The city's street department has the ability to handle both of these tasks.

The council would also approve the purchase of a Lifepak 15 cardiac monitor, with a four-year service contract from Physio Control, at a cost not to exceed $40,000 for the fire and ambulance department, the purchase of a four-wheel drive pickup truck via state bid from Landmark Ford of Springfield for the street department in an amount not to exceed $24,972 (the item was in this year's budget according to Mayor Dougherty), and to make the final pay request to Haier Plumbing in the amount of $8,450 for work completed on the Crestwood pump station replacement upon receiving the final waiver of lien.

Motions to approve an ordinance establishing rental fees for watercraft at Lake Lou Yaeger and to approve a rental agreement for such watercraft also passed. The rental prices for watercraft are $5 per hour for corcls, $10 per hour for one person kayaks, $15 per hour for two-person kayaks and $10 per hour for stand up paddle boards.

In other business, the council heard from Jamie Lasko, community manager for the Brown Shoe Lofts.

Lasko was present to request that the city reconsider its position for charging the apartment complex for water for every unit, saying that the city had previously only charged for apartments that were occupied when the building was first being filled.

Flannery said that the previous agreement was only during the period when the facility was screening applicants. She added that the city had worked with the Illinois Historical Preservation Agency and the Illinois Housing Authority to develop the property and had provided tax credits and waived fees.

City Clerk Carol Burke said that many other properties with multiple units in Litchfield pay for all units, regardless of occupancy and that doing otherwise would go against the city's ordinance.

Lasko said that the building currently has only 25 of 47 units filled due to issues with windows leaking and causing mold. She asked the council for six months  of just charging for occupied units to allow owner Gail Wade to build up funds to fix the problem.

No action was taken, but Mayor Dougherty suggested that Wade speak to the city about other options to help with the problem.

The meeting would adjourn at 6:59 p.m. with no further action. They will meet again on Thursday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. at Corwin Hall.

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