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Contractor picked for water treatment plant project

DeKALB – Loves Park-based N-Trak Group LLC was selected by the DeKalb Sanitary District board for the demolition of 19 houses on Hollister Avenue as part of the district’s $52 million improvement plan for its water treatment plant.

This project will keep the nearly 100-year-old facility in compliance with new Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The Hollister houses, which are owned by the district, will be torn down and replaced by a new administration building near Sycamore Road, new operations buildings, parking lots and roadways leading to the plant and its facilities.

N-Trak came in with the low bid at $89,840. DeKalb Sanitary District Executive Director Mark Eddington said that the original estimate for the project was $250,000.

“We’re very pleased with this bid,” Eddington said.

He added that the district still is evaluating bids on the plant’s modernization, estimated at $52 million. The lowest bid came from Peoria-based Williams Brothers Construction at $46.35 million.

However, the project is contingent upon the sanitary district receiving a low-interest loan from the Illinois EPA.

“Once we’ve qualified the bidders, make sure the insurance is solid and the board awards the project to the contractor, we will send that package to the EPA, which will review it and produce a loan agreement,” Eddington said. “It will take a couple of months, but I anticipate a loan agreement in June.”

DeKalb’s Planning and Zoning Commission recently held a public hearing on the project and is expected to rule on whether to recommend it to the City Council on March 29.

During their last district board meeting, members decided to move forward with changing their agency’s name.

Eddington said changing the name of the DeKalb Sanitary District to the Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District would better represent the treatment plant as a resource recovery facility.

“We’re reclaiming cleaner water for the environment and reclaiming resources from waste to produce our own electricity,” Eddington said. “As we look to regionalize wastewater treatment and become a cost-effective option for other communities, we should be distinguishing ourselves from the city to help clear up any misconceptions.”

As part of the process for the district to change its name, there will be a public hearing with the county March 24.

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