Federal, county grants for Holiday Hills sewer projects help fund next phase of construction

Close to $8 million coming to water reclamation district for sanitary sewer expansion

Crews place structures in September 2022 as part of Holiday Hills' sewer project, connecting the village to the Northern Moraine Water Reclamation District.

Northern Moraine Wastewater Reclamation District is a third of the way through its project to connect 300-some Holiday Hills and Le Villa Vaupell subdivision homes to its wastewater treatment plant.

With more grants, totaling about $8 million, now set to come its way, water district manager Mohammed Haque is determining which portions of its next construction phase can be funded.

“I have funding now for a good part of Phase 2,” Haque said.

Citing a high groundwater table in the area, the Holiday Hills Village Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the water reclamation district in July 2021 to connect residents currently on septic to the sanitary sewer system. The multi-phase project is set to connect 250 homes and another 50 or so Le Villa Vaupell homes adjacent to the new lines.

Holiday Hills residents have until Dec. 31, 2038, to connect to the sanitary sewers and abandon their private septic tanks and mounds.

The next phase will be sewers on Pine Street, Northeast Shore Drive, and some of the side streets off of that.

—  Northern Moraine Wastewater Reclamation District manager Mohammed Haque

“The Holiday Hills sewer project funding keeps gaining momentum,” district spokesman Matt Butterfield said of the new funding. “There are more than 300 homes in Holiday Hills, on or near the Fox River, that will not be putting sewage into the ground.”

The newest grants include $2.5 million from a Community Project Request in the federal appropriations package signed by President Joe Biden in late 2022.

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, who toured the Holiday Hills sewer project in 2022 but no longer represents the area following redistricting, “was instrumental in delivering” the grant, Haque said.

“Plus, Sen. Richard Durbin was able to secure another $250,000 in the federal government’s 2023 appropriations for system upgrades to our emergency power generator,” he said.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster selected the project for an additional $3.5 million federal grant. Congress is expected to approve funding it, and projects like it, later this year.

Haque expects to see that grant arrive in 2024.

Then, McHenry County granted an additional $2 million from federal COVID-19 recovery funding.

The project’s first phase, started in May 2021, brought in sewer lines for Holiday and Sunset drives. Houses may start connecting “late this fall or early this spring,” Haque said.

Phase 2 originally planned to reach 227 homes that are not adjacent to Sunset or Holiday drives. But as the entirety of the project is not funded through the grants, it will be broken down into smaller projects, Haque said.

“The next phase will be sewers on Pine Street, Northeast Shore Drive, and some of the side streets off of that,” Haque said.

Residents adjacent to the lines will have to pay $11,000 to connect, as well as additional monthly sewer charges. In total, the district serves about 6,000 homes and 20,000 residents in the area north and northeast of Island Lake and south of Lakemoor. Its water treatment plant is in Island Lake.