Construction bid, previously announced for new water plant, officially awarded

By Gary Scott on September 29, 2015 at 7:26am

Chris Kesler and Tom Varns (left) are sworn in as the newest members of the Jacksonville Fire Department.

It’s official: a bid has been awarded to Williams Brothers Construction in Springfield for constructing the new Jacksonville water treatment plant.

City council members unanimously approved the bid with zero discussion last night.

Williams Brothers had been announced as the lowest bidder for the project at just under $31 million in May, but earlier this month, engineers with Benton and Associates advised the city to delay the bid award due to hold-ups with a million-dollar grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard says the city has since spoken to DCEO officials, which allayed their fears.

“They indicated to us that it would not jeopardize the grant if we went ahead and awarded the contractors, so, we had good discussion with the state. We’re still in the running for a million-dollar grant. There’s still some things left to do, but they know that the contractor wants to get started before the winter time and they made it well aware to us that we could do this without jeopardizing a million-dollar grant,” he says.

The rest of the cost of the project will be covered through a low-interest loan through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Ezard talks about what’s next.

“We’ll meet with the contractors, we’ll work out some things as far as a timeline, when they’re going to begin. We’ll also have a public meeting with the residents around the water plant on Hardin Avenue, kind of going over with them again what their expectations are as far as noise and lighting and things like that,” says Ezard.

“Then we’ll have a groundbreaking ceremony. It could be within this month; we could delay the groundbreaking ceremony if we wanted to a little bit into construction, but I anticipate having all this stuff done within a month or two.”

Also last night, two new members of the Jacksonville Fire Department were sworn in: Chris Kesler and Tom Varns. Twenty-year-service pins were given to Mike Martin and Bryan Nyberg.


Aldermen voted to waive advertisement for bids and accepted a proposal from Beard Implement and John Deere for two mowers and a three-point auger for use by the Jacksonville Cemeteries Department.