WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Colchester Changes Plans on Sewer Project

Jun 26, 2012

Colchester planned to take nearly a decade to complete a large-scale sewer replacement project with an estimated price tag of $4.2 million.

The city will now seek to complete the project in the next four years. The change is driven by the prospects for grant funding.

Mayor Danny Bice says the city counted on a combination of state and federal grants to help pay for the project. It's necessary to meet federal EPA requirements.

The city has found the funding forecast a dismal one.

He says, “If we do it as one project through the USDA, that's the only way we're going to get money. Because we've been told by the State of Illinois, by the congressmen, that there's no money out there.”

The city will apply for a Rural Development grant from the department. The deadline is July 15th for this fiscal year. The city has a better of chance of qualifying since it will be evaluated using 2009 demographics.

Bice says if the city delays it will be evaluated using less favorable statistics for household median income from 2010 which is $10,000 higher than the 2009 level.

He also says that would lead to even higher sewer bills for residents.

The application would also make the city eligible for unclaimed grant funds that will be available beginning September 15th.