Peru council begins plans for 2022 construction projects

Plans will be presented to the council in the upcoming weeks

During this week’s Peru Committee of the Whole Meeting, Director of Engineering and Zoning Eric Carls provided the city’s plans for construction projects for next year.

While the update gave those in attendance a general idea of what’s to come, all of the projects are in the early stages and subject to change.

“Typically around this time, end of the year and construction season, we start talking about what we’re proposing as the priority list for next season,” Carls said. “Most of those on the list typically come in the form of mandated projects or annual maintenance projects. Generally we also work in some capital improvement projects.”

One major project earmarked for the next construction cycle includes the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s mandated sewer separation project that has been ongoing in phases for many years. Carls said this project usually comes in at a cost between $1 to $2 million a year.

Another project that may be prioritized for 2022 is the city’s water main issues in various locations throughout the city. These areas could include on the east end of the First Ward, the second phase of St. John’s main, Fifth Street from Peoria Street to Peru Catholic School, among other locations.

Some other projects listed Carls titled deferred maintenance included the painting of some elevated water shortage tanks on North Peoria Street and north of Interstate 80 and work at the east water treatment plant.

A few other utility projects planned to be in the works are to create a gravity sewer north of Interstate 80 and the relocation of the electric cell station. The funding for both of these projects have been applied for in grants to help cover some of the presumptive costs.

Carls said that next year’s projects may lean toward required work instead of what the city has been mainly scheduled in recent years.

“I’d say that next year’s probably setting up more of a primarily maintenance-type year,” Carls said. “We’ll be shifting our focus a little bit away from some of the growth stuff that we were doing.”

Some other general fund projects for 2022 are planned to include the annual street program and larger airport building relocation project. The street program attempts to improve the transportation quality in the older areas of town and where it is most needed.

Alderman Mike Sapienza said he would like to see the city put a lot of attention into the streets and sidewalks in the older parts of town, such as the Third Ward. Carls agreed his office tries to make the areas with the most need, the highest priorities.

While these are projected to be the main focus for the general fund, grants for other smaller projects have been pursued, such as the Safe Routes to School Program and other improvements around the city.

“We’ve been trying to do a good balance of what I’d refer to as maintenance or rebuild projects versus expansion projects,” Carls said. “There’s a lot of maintenance projects that happen in the heart of town and we have also done some expansion projects like the new Midtown Road.”

While Monday’s update was not an official report by Carls, he said his office will begin working on a formal priority list for the council’s viewing and approval as he has done in the years past.

More information will become available on the specific planned 2022 construction projects at the Sept. 27 or Oct. 11 City Council meetings.

Jayce Eustice

Covering local government, breaking news and whatever is thrown at me for the La Salle News Tribune