Aldermen given update on watershed project

By Gary Scott on July 14, 2014 at 9:19pm


Jacksonville aldermen received an update on the city’s participation in the Lake Mauvaisterre Watershed Project tonight.

City council received a draft resolution from city attorney Dan Beard that authorizes the city’s financial participation in the project, in which farmers engage in land conservation practices aimed at preventing sediment buildup in the lake.

Aldermen passed a resolution earlier this year expressing intent to partner with American Farmland Trust to obtain a grant to provide funding for the project. Beard says the final numbers are in from Northwater Consulting, which would implement the project.

“There are eleven producers that agreed to do work up in the watershed for Lake Mauvaisterre. The total cost is now $687,275. The city’s share of that would be $145,250 to contribute towards the water and sediment basins, the sediment dams, and control structures, and some grass waterways to be constructed,” he says.

The city’s cost would be over the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years. Landowners would pay about $129,000, while the Illinois EPA would cover the rest. Beard notes the initial price tag for the city was $120,000.

“That price actually went up a bit when we thought there would be twelve producers or landowners involved. It’s gone down just a little with only eleven landowners participating instead of the twelve,” says Beard.

“The city had only agreed to $60,000 formally. There had also been discussion that [if] it would be a two-year program, they’d be asking for more money, and there was a consensus that was fine, the city wants to go forward with the project. That will be finalized in two weeks.”

The resolution states the city’s share will be paid on a reimbursement basis after landowners have paid for all improvements. The city’s contribution is contingent upon the receiving of the grant from the state EPA.

Aldermen will vote on the resolution at the next meeting, according to Beard. Jeff Boeckler of Northwater Consulting will be present to answer any questions. The submission deadline for the grant funding is August 1st.

Also at tonight’s meeting, the first reading of a re-zoning request for a new liquor store on the city’s north side passed five votes to three. Bobby Patel, the owner of JP Food Mart, wants to open the store at 125 West Walnut.

The “no” votes came from Bruce McDaniel, Lori Large-Oldenettel, and Adonnis Shaw. Bill Scott, Mike Wankel, Steve Warmowski, Jenny Geirnaeirt and Don Cook voted yes.

Marcy Patterson and Tony Williams were not present at last night’s meeting.