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Coal City board lets well project proceed, tables water tank restoration

COAL CITY — Village leaders Monday approved a motion that would allow the village to move forward with a project that involves the well that contributes the largest amount of water to area residents.

The board of trustees unanimously approved a measure awarding the project, which includes an inspection and replacement of needed parts on the village's Well No. 5, to Water Well Solutions of Elburn, Ill. for an amount not to exceed $119,976.

Village Administrator Matt Fritz said approving the not-to-exceed amount would allow the work to continue up to the maximum without needing it to come before the board.

Fritz noted the work was budgeted for about $102,000, which prompted questions whether money could be saved via the materials used in some of the project.

Mayor Neal Nelson said he supported awarding the bid.

"I think we need to move forward with the maintenance for the well and do our part to find ways to reduce the cost," he said.

Trustee Terry Halliday agreed, but noted he'd like to see more numbers.

"I don't want to go over the budget," he said. "I agree — this has to be done — but we've got to find $17,000."

In a separate motion, the board decided to table a decision that would allow Robinson Engineering to start the bidding process and manage the project of restoring the water plant's water tanks.

The process includes replacing and disposal of the tanks' possibly radioactive-type materials, as well as other repairs that might be needed.

Robinson Engineering's total estimated project cost was $99,000, which raised questions of whether another firm could manage the project for a cheaper rate.

Village Engineer Brian Brown, who is also a senior project manager at Robinson Engineering, said the cost is higher than other engineering work the firm has done for the village because the nature of the work is different.

"It isn't just a straightforward design, there's going to be a lot of research, because it's not something that's common," he said.

In other action, the board authorized the mayor to enter into two agreements. One allowed the village to enter into the Illinois Public Works Mutual Aid Network, which had a fee of $100 to join.

Nelson said he first heard about it following the Oct. 6 crash in which three Coal City Public Works employees were struck by a drunk driver while cleaning up after Octoberfest.

He said the network gives mutual aid in instances where the village may need people, trucks or equipment in case of an emergency situation.

"It's a wonderful program," he said. "Hopefully we don't need it."

He said a representative from the network who works in Batavia reached out to him with information about it following the crash.

"It was nice to know there were people out there who could help you," he said.

The second was with GovPay, which will allow people who are ticketed or arrested in Coal City to pay their bond with credit cards, or have a person with Internet access and a credit card pay on their behalf.

Police Chief Tom Best said the hardware and training is free for the department, and that GovPay makes money through service fees.

Best said he hoped having the setup would help reduce the amount of time and travel — in the case of officers taking arrestees to the Grundy County Jail for further processing — it takes officers to handle tickets and arrests.

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