Rochelle City Council approves wastewater treatment plant improvements


City establishes COVID-19 Temporary Leave Program, amends tax abatement schedule for Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone

ROCHELLE — Rochelle City Council members authorized City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh to sign an engineering agreement with Willett Hofmann & Associates Inc. for the second phase of improvements at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, located at 888 Treatment Plant Road in Rochelle. The multi-year agreement will be at a cost not exceeding $682,000. with in-house construction potentially offsetting a portion of the $240,000 construction observation cost.

The system upgrades include the construction of a second new fine screen option and dewatering unit for the influent bypass channel, new piping to connect the anaerobic lagoon effluent piping to the headworks building, convert aeration bays 5-8 for biological nutrient removal, replace the clarifier drive units and demolish three existing tertiary sand filters, and install four cloth type tertiary filters. The project will be funded by an IEPA loan.

Council members approved Engel Electric Company’s proposal for electrical upgrades at Well 8 at a cost of $21,491. Council members also approved a resolution authorizing Fiegenschuh to sign a five-year dark fiber license agreement with MCIMetro for a monthly cost of $6,567.29.

Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone

Council members amended an ordinance for the Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone establishing a three-tiered tax abatement schedule for businesses. The resolution comes after Project Jackpot, the new business entity planning to take over the Nippon Sharyo campus in Rochelle, plans to invest $130 million in the zone and create 150 jobs. 

The lowest tier requires no minimum job limit or capital investment limit while maintaining 75 percent of jobs to retain abatement (50 percent per year over six years). The middle tier requires 75 jobs or more and $50 million in capital investment while maintaining 95 percent of jobs to retain abatement (50 percent per year over 10 years). The highest tier requires 125 jobs or more, $100 million in capital investment and a $50,000 annual wage per employee before benefits while maintaining 95 percent of jobs to retain abatement (50 percent per year over 16 years).

COVID Leave

Council members approved a resolution authorizing the creation of a City of Rochelle COVID-19 Temporary Leave Program. The temporary leave program will run until Jan. 31, 2021.

For employees exposed to COVID-19, employees will be asked to be tested and results will determine if and when the quarantine will take place. If not tested and no symptoms, the employee will be required to quarantine and use sick leave to cover the absence.

If an employee has been exposed to COVID and is being tested, the employee will be placed on COVID Administrative Leave while awaiting test results with no use of leave.

For positive test results, employees will receive up to 80 hours of temporary leave while on quarantine. The length of quarantine will be based on the recommendation of the health department. Positive test result documents must be sent to human resources within 24 hours.

If no letter is received to confirm test results, employees may be required to use sick leave from their leave bank. For negative test results, the employee may return to work under modified quarantine guidelines: wear mask, physical distance, and monitor symptoms. Documentation of the negative results must be sent to HR prior to returning to work.

Ordinances

Rochelle City Council members approved a series of ordinances during January’s meeting at City Hall on Monday. The city approved an ordinance allowing retail sales of electronic cigarettes, vapor and related products at Rocky’s Smoke Shop, located at 901 S. 7th St in Rochelle.

Council members also approved an ordinance granting variation of signage for the construction of an electronic message board at Kwik Trip, located at 1000 S. 7th St. in Rochelle.

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