New Lenox moves to replace aging water mains

Michelle Mullins | 12/15/2015, 7:39 a.m.
Aging water mains, some more than 40 years old, will be replaced under a plan approved by New Lenox officials ...
New Lenox Village Hall

The New Lenox Village Board on Monday took its first steps to replace some aging water mains in town.

The board approved three separate contracts with Christopher B. Burke Engineering of Rosemont to provide engineering services for replacing water mains on U.S. 30 from Veterans Parkway to about Church Street, on Cedar Road from U.S. 30 to Michigan Road, and on Cedar Road from Oak Street to Francis Road.

The cost of the three contracts is about $190,750, and the engineering firm will also assist the village in preparing a loan application with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Mayor Tim Baldermann said the water mains are more than 40 years old and have had several breaks over the years.

The breaks have tied up traffic as crews work to repair them, are bad for businesses in the area and are costly to fix, he said.

The engineering report will help determine the final cost estimates and a timeline to replace the aging water mains, but it’s likely to cost several million dollars and take a full construction season to complete the project, Baldermann said.

“It’s a major job,” Baldermann said.

Construction isn't likely to begin until 2017, he said.

In other news, the village board approved an agreement pending attorney review to remove underground storage tanks at the former BP gas station, 103 E. Maple St.

The total contract with ECS Midwest of Buffalo Grove is about $84,000, but the village may be able to offset some of the cost with mitigation grants, Baldermann said.

As part of an effort to revitalize a portion of U.S. 30, the village bought and tore down some vacant businesses, including the BP gas station, the former Pit Stop bar and House of Hughes restaurant and a dry cleaners.

CVS pharmacy and Fleckenstein’s Bakery have announced they plan to build on the site.

Finally, the village board on Monday approved the 2015 property tax levy for about $2.57 million, which is 3.23 percent higher than the 2014 tax levy.

The tax levy covers about 6.9 percent of the village’s $37 million operating budget, and is used to fund mandated expenditures, village officials said.

The village has a rebate program in place for its residents. This year, homeowners have until Dec. 15 to apply for a 70 percent reimbursement of the village’s portion of the 2014 property taxes.