Hillcrest board discusses plans for new generator

Baxter & Woodman's Carl Fischer addresses the Hillcrest Board of Trustees during its monthly meeting on Wednesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Fuel options, generator size among talking points Wednesday

HILLCREST — Discussions regarding a project to replace the generator for the village water well headlined the monthly Hillcrest Board of Trustees meeting Wednesday evening.

Baxter & Woodman presented trustees with an update on how much the project could cost. The project was originally estimated to cost around $50,000, but changes including utilizing natural gas instead of diesel fuel, as well as whether or not trustees would like the village hall connected to the generator in case of an emergency power outage, brought the price up to a range between $130,000 and $180,000. The village has $75,000 in grant funding it could use for the project.

“There are many factors that contributed to the rise in cost,” said Carl Fischer, wastewater technical director at Baxter & Woodman. “The village board discussed wanting to go with a natural gas fuel generator instead of a diesel fuel generator, which would require a new natural gas service that would cost around $12,000. We also discussed putting the village hall on the generator’s load, which would increase the generator’s size and require an automatic transfer switch for the generator and some additional wiring and restoration work. The generator shed is too small for the new generator, and we’ll need a new concrete pad for the generator.”

The village plans to locate the new generator between the village hall and the garage south of the building. Trustees discussed the proposal Wednesday evening, with the majority speaking in favor of using natural gas fuel. Trustees were split on whether or not to connect the village hall to the new generator, however, and with two trustees absent from the meeting, the board tabled further discussions until its meeting next month, which will take place on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

RMU

Hillcrest trustees approved a motion to recognize Rochelle Municipal Utilities for its work in the community over the past few months. The presentation will take place at next month’s meeting. Trustee Tim Ball brought the motion forward, highlighting several instances in which RMU has commuted to the village and stepped up to assist the village in emergency situations.

“RMU has come out here when we’ve had major power outages and they’ve had us up and running in less than three hours,” Ball said. “When we had a recent car accident that ripped an electrical pole, they were out here in minutes, and when we had the big storm recently, they had four or five trucks out here to check everything. I’d like to give them a token of our appreciation.”

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