Sycamore $5.4M plan radium removal of city well approved with aid from EPA

The Sycamore water tower rises over the barns on the grounds of the Sycamore History Museum.

SYCAMORE – A $5.4 million plan was approved this week for radium removal for a Sycamore city well.

The Sycamore City Council approved a $5.4 million loan agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the well project.

The city will be on the hook for $4.2 million because the loan includes $1,250,000 in principal forgiveness – the largest sum allowed by the state agency – according to city documents.

City Manager Michael Hall said the loan’s remaining balance will be repaid over a 30-year term with a reduced interest rate of 0.93%.

After giving the loan agreement the OK, the Sycamore City Council awarded a $4.7 million contract to Manusos General Contracting Inc., of Fox Lake, for the Well 7 radium removal project.

According to city documents the contract comes with an additional $146,190 for contingencies set by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. No schedule, however, has been established for the project.

In March, the Sycamore City Council voted to increase the radium treatment and meter maintenance fees while restructuring the city’s water usage rate.

Matt Anderson, Sycamore Public Works Department director, said at the time the average home in the city would see about a $24 per year increase in their water bill.

On Monday, Anderson said the new loan from the state’s environmental protection agency wouldn’t necessitate further water bill increases because the loan was factored into the numbers used to formulate the new fee structure.

“When we did the water rates that just passed recently there was a place holder put into that overall budget to account for the principal interest payment,” Anderson said. “There is no direct increase related to this project.”

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