Ottawa experiences windfall, surprise expenses

Water mains come in under budget, but costs add up

Ottawa City Hall

Good fortune often provides with one hand, but takes with the other.

The Ottawa City Council on Tuesday night learned the bid awarded for the 2024 water main replacement program has come in $200,000 under budget.

During Commissioner Brent Barron’s report, it was announced the low bid of $919,069 was turned in by Pohar and Sons of La Salle, an amount that was significantly under the expected expense.

But also in Barron’s report, he asked for and received permission for maintenance at Well No. 8 be performed by Laine Christiansen at an expense not to exceed $150,000. Barron explained the water department lost pressure on the well and that the pump would have to be pulled, repaired and returned to its spot.

Barron also informed the council the city is required to come up with a “source water protection plan” as mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and that the Fehr Graham Engineering Services needed to be hired to develop one.

He added the city was not aware of it until this year when it received a letter from the IEPA and that neither he nor City Engineer Tom Duttlinger were sure exactly what the plan had to encompass.

“It caught us completely by surprise,” Barron said. “They indicated that (the plan) was due last year, but we weren’t aware of it. Now we’re working with Fehr Graham and will turn it in as soon as we get it done.”

The council also heard Mayor Robb Hasty read into the record two proclamations regarding the month of April. One document designated it Fair Housing Month on the 56th anniversary of the original passing of that civil rights law back in 1968.

The other tabbed it National Child Abuse Prevention Month and encouraged all communities to “make every effort to promote programs and activities that promote strong and thriving children and families,” he read.

The mayor also reminded the public at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 4 will be volunteer night, where organizations from around Ottawa will speak about their works and what they’ll need in the coming year.

In other action, the council:

Authorized an intergovernmental agreement for communication and dispatching services with the city of Earlville.

Authorized an North Central Area Transit transit agreement with Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois.

Announced that there will be a public hearing in the council chambers at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 regarding the adoption of the city’s operating budget for the next fiscal year.

Awarded the bid $7,700 for the annual tree planting and mulching project to Danchris Nursery of Streator.