Watseka aldermen Darrin Rushbrook, Benny Marcier, Dennis Cahoe, Brandon Barragree, Mayor John Allhands, Alderwoman Monna Ulfers, Aldermen Dave Mayotte, Don Miller and Mark Garfield listen to discussion Tuesday night.

Photo by

Carla Waters

Fire hydrant replacement and a loan program though the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency were two of the topics discussed Tuesday by the Watseka City Council.

Sean McBride of E.R.H. Enterprises talked about the loan program. He distributed the information about the low interest loan program.

“I know there was some discussion at the last meeting I was at. I got the impression that it may be too cumbersome or wasn’t worth pursuing because it could take up to two years. I’m sure in some cases it can.

“I can tell you the Village of Buckley, the current loan they are on, which I think is the second or third loan they’ve gotten, they started the process last November and they’ll be done with the entire thing this November. So from application to completion of the project is a year,” he said.

“I’d encourage you to not just write it off,” he told the aldermen.

McBride said, too, that he met with a consultant about how to save money on current costs of the system that communicates between the wastewater plant and the Mulberry Street lift station. The system costs $500 to $600 a month, he said, just for the phone lines.

McBride said the system is obsolete and should it fail it probably couldn’t be repaired. He presented some cost estimates for a replacement. To replace the system as it is now would cost more than $53,000, he said. To upgrade to a radio system would be about half that.

McBride also gave the aldermen an estimate from Sentry Roofing, Inc., from Covington, Indiana, for a roof replacement at the Watseka wastewater plant.

He said the proposal comes with a 20- year warranty. The roof is one that has needed replaced for a while, he said.

McBride gave the aldermen a list of fire hydrants that need replaced. Those include West North and Chicago streets, no shut-off valve; Frank and Chicago streets, no shut-off valves; Kay Street between Hickory and Ash, no shut-off valve; North Fifth and East Oak streets, no shut-off valve; East Oak Street between North Sixth and North Seventh streets, no shut-off valve; Sheridan Avenue, has shut-off valve; and North Fourth and East Walnut, which has a very old shut-off valve and is surrounded by concrete.

McBride said there are three places where the hydrants are in good condition on the opposite corner or directly across the street. Those include: North Third and Oak streets, no shut-off valve; North Fourth and East Oak streets, no shut-off valve; and Park Avenue and Brown Street, has very old shut-off valve.

A hydrant is also behind a house in the 600 block of East Mulberry Street. Alderman Dave Mayotte, a former fire chief, said there needs to be one in that neighborhood. There was dissuasion about which ones would need to be replaces. Public works Director Marvin DeLahr said he would take a look at the list and report back. McBride said the council should let him now if they want E.R.H. to pursue any of these hydrant replacements.

No decisions were made and the aldermen said they would take the information under advisement.