City council: Near $1 million bid for 4th Avenue storm sewer project accepted

The Rochelle City Council unanimously accepted a $956,462 bid from Northern Illinois Service Company for its 4th Avenue storm sewer drainage improvements phase one project at its Monday meeting.

RMU real estate sale approved

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle City Council unanimously accepted a $956,462 bid from Northern Illinois Service Company for its 4th Avenue storm sewer drainage improvements phase one project at its Monday meeting.

The project will be completed in two phases from the Kyte River to 6th Street and will consist of complete removal of existing mainline storm sewer and limited laterals that are nearly 80 years old within the street right of way. The new system will consist of larger improved storm sewer and manhole structures to provide more efficient drainage and some inline stormwater detention. 

The project will help alleviate “most of” the localized flooding along the 4th Avenue corridor that has been occurring over the past five years. The entire project will be completed in 2022. City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh was given the authority to negotiate further change order work on the project not to exceed $219,000.

Sale of property

The council unanimously approved the market and sale of real estate properties located at 860 S. 7th St. and the adjacent lot, 890 S. 7th St. 

The building at 860 S. 7th. St. is currently used by the Rochelle Municipal Utilities water and water reclamation departments as a maintenance shop. The city recently acquired the former Johnson Tractor building and plans to move those RMU operations to that site at 1030 S. 7th St. 

An appraisal was completed for the building of $195,000 and $315,000 for the adjacent lot. The proceeds from sale will be put towards improvements of the Johnson Tractor building or paying down debt.

Peaker building

The council unanimously approved a new steel roof for its RMU peaker building at 1015 S. Caron Road for $44,430. 

Bruns Construction, Inc. was the sole bidder for the project and was awarded it. Repairs of peaker engine one are underway and the current roof must be removed to put it back in place. 

“It was $22,000 just to remove and replace the roof for the peaker to be brought back,” RMU Superintendent of Electric Operations Blake Toliver said. “We're experiencing some leaking issues from the first time they removed it and put it back on. We thought it best to just replace it. The old one was put on in 1966.”

Iron removal plant

The council unanimously approved the authorization of a grant application for its Well Eight Iron Treatment Plant Project that would construct an iron removal treatment plant for the well located at Wiscold Drive and Caron Road.  

The well is centrally located in the industrial area and is a high-capacity well that can supply over 12 industries that employ over 2,000 people. Due to the elevated levels of iron, the well is only used as a backup during emergencies. 

The rough estimated cost for the project is about $5 million, of which the grant could cover $4 million. The city would pay $1 million. RMU Utilities Superintendent Adam Lanning said if the city’s application is perfect, all $5 million would be covered by the grant. Fiegenschuh said another grant through State Sen. Brian Stewart could cover the $1 million if the city needs to pay it.

“We could end up with a $5 million well house with no particular cost to the city,” Lanning said. “This project's been on every capital improvement plan since I've been here and probably 10 years before me. This well went off in the 90s because of iron. This would be a really good project to get behind us.”

No parking

The council unanimously approved eliminating parking on the south side of 10th Avenue between Lincoln Highway and Illinois Route 251. 

Residents and motorists have expressed safety concerns with narrow travel ways due to vehicles parking on both sides of the street. The south side of 10th Avenue was chosen because it will disturb the least number of residents that may need parking. 

“It is a really heavily-traveled road and I think this is best for everybody,” Street Department Superintendent Tim Isley said.

Good News

Fiegenschuh presented a Good News Award to Industrial Development Manager Peggy Friday for her work on the city’s recent Hiring Expo. 

“It was a huge success for the community and a lot of partners came together,” Fiegenschuh said. “People found jobs. It was all done because of our city staff and some ideas that came from a meeting with the mayor and myself and some other folks.”

A Good News Award was also presented to Toliver for generation work that was done for 15 days straight to keep the lights on in the downtown area to prevent an outage after a transformer went down at the plant that powers that part of town.

“This is another reason we're blessed to have our own locally-owned electric utility,” Fiegenschuh said. “Because we can do things like this.”


Mayor John Bearrows read proclamations in honor of National Public Power Week and National Fire Prevention Week that were accepted by Toliver and Rochelle Fire Chief Dave Sawlsville.



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