Slingerland Reinforces Concerns with Carrying out Project in Phases
BY CARISSA SITKI
Altamont’s highly anticipated, phased, water main replacement project is now underway, with Kieffer Brothers Construction beginning Phase I work near the Route 40/Farina blacktop intersection on Monday, April 5. The project has been in the works for the past six years. City Commissioner Todd Slingerland told the News Banner, “I’ve been trying to get this project going since I’ve been on the Council.”
Phase I consists of two parts, one that the State of Illinois will pay for and one that Altamont is responsible for covering. The state will cover costs associated with the replacement of the line north of the People’s State Bank and Trust lot to the first house North of the Illinois Route 128 and U.S. Route 40 intersection. The city is responsible for replacing the line from Oak Street that runs along Route 128 to the north side of People’s Bank and Trust. The State is covering $113,777 and the City is covering the remaining $4,300 cost associated with the project.
“This is the first phase of many phases,” said Slingerland, “The whole thing’s going to end up being a 20-year project.” The City Council had decided last year to carry out the project in phases in order to utilize grants that will assist with expenses. Slingerland said that he wanted the City to carry out the project in one go, in order to take advantage of the low interest rate and avoid future cost increases associated with potential inflation.
“We could’ve been locked in with a low interest rate and get this thing done in less than five years,” Sllingerland told the News Banner, “Who knows where the cost of PVC pipe will go with this new [presidential] administration impacting the oil industry. Not to mention the affect this [pandemic] is going to have.”
The total cost of the project was estimated to be $10 million, but Slingerland worries that with the City’s decision to carry out the project in increments, the cost could end up being higher. Since the project is being covered by grants, however, Slingerland said the added cost will not be be on the City water customers.
The planning for Phase II of the water main project is underway, according to Slingerland. Grants have been applied for and information has been sent over to the EPA for permits. Phase II will consist of the updating of the water mains all the way down Main Street.
Slingerland extends his gratitude to the State of Illinois for assisting the City of Altamont with this first phase. He expects the phase will be completed by the end of the month.