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astewater plant is up for state award

For the second time in the last three years, Oregon’s wastewater treatment plant is in the running for a state award.

Public Works Commissioner Jim Barnes told the city council Tuesday evening that Oregon’s plant is one of seven in its group to be nominated for Best Operated Wastewater Treatment Works by the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators.

Barnes congratulated operations manager Dave Kent.

“That’s quite an honor,” he said.

IAWPCO presents awards in five categories each year at a ceremony held in Springfield.

The categories are based on size of the plant and its treatment process type.

Oregon was nominated in Group 3, along with Channahon, Banner, Findlay, Carrollton, Caseyville Township-West, and the Lawrence County Correctional Center.

According to a letter from the IAWPCO, the annual awards emphasize the relationship between adequate wastewater treatment and clean receiving waters and to give public recognition and encouragement to communities, their officials, and the personnel who have operated their wastewater facilities in an especially effective manor.

An inspection team from the IAWPCO will visit the Oregon plant in the near future.

Mayor Ken Williams told Kent to plan on attending the awards ceremony in February along with members of his staff.

Oregon’s treatment plant was one of five nominated in 2016 in Group 2 but did not win the award.

In another matter, the city council approved an engineering agreement with Willett, Hofmann & Associates, of Dixon, for looping and replacing water mains in the south end of the city.

Kent said the city will not need to borrow money for the $2 million project because of state “forgiveness” and left-over funds from another project.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has a program of “forgiving” 75 percent of the cost of projects totaling $2 million, he said, and the remaining estimated $500,000 will be covered by unused funds from another water project.

Kent said work will likely begin in the spring.

The project includes 7,230 feet of eight-inch diameter water mains on Second Street from Adams to Jefferson, Third Street from Madison to Washington, Third Street from Collins to Webster, Collins Street from Second to Fifth, Fifth Street from Collins to Armstrong, Hill Street from Ill. 2 (Fourth Street) to Fifth, and Clay Street from Eighth to 10th.

In other business, the council:

• hired Kristine Tesnow as a police officer, contingent upon successful completion of pre-employment requirements. Tesnow is currently a Winnebago County corrections officer.

• approved an ordinance forming an Enterprise Zone.