• Megann Horstead

Village could have land deal for future site of wastewater treatment plant


The New Lenox Village Board of Trustees took steps Jan. 22 at its regular meeting to work toward securing land off of Delaney Road to house the Village’s future wastewater treatment plant.

At approximately 80 acres, the two parcels in question will move the Village’s dialogue forward on infrastructure concerns.

The site is currently owned by Hartz Construction Co., Inc. and a sale is pending in the next two to three months.

“This is good news,” Mayor Tim Baldermann said. “This is something that we, as a board, talked about in our strategic plan session wanting to find some property where we can build a regional wastewater treatment plant, which once constructed will give us the ability to take plants I and II and convert them to pumping stations, which, of course, are at Route 30 and Cedar [Road] and also in Jackson Branch.”

In related development, the Village is doing its due diligence to get phase I environmental site assessment performed. The Board of Trustees moved to approve a $1,500 proposal extended by Environmental Group Services, Ltd. to satisfy this aim.

A new regional plant is estimated to cost $55 million.

It was the Village’s original intent only to expand wastewater treatment plant No. 2, but further research led them to consider going after a regional site, as wastewater treatment plant No. 1 needs upgrades and is getting to the end of its lifespan.

Around that time, the Village was anticipating an estimated $20 million cost to expand wastewater treatment plant No. 2.

Village Administrator Kurt Carroll said it is a savings in the long run, but it costs more upfront.

Last year’s sales tax and water & sewer fees are intended to cover the Village’s new debt acquired to construct the new regional plant.

Baldermann said the site of the Route 30 and Cedar Road wastewater treatment plants do not currently align with the Village’s planning efforts.

“There is some residential [properties] over there, but it’s the center of our community and it’s a business area,” Baldermann said. “That will give us the opportunity to really eliminate the odor issues and all the other problems that have plagued those areas.”

Wastewater treatment plant No. II can currently take in three-quarters of a million gallons of sewage, and wastewater treatment plant No. I can take in another two-and-half million gallons.

The Village has been working with an engineering consultant firm, Strand Associates, Inc., and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to address matters related to the sewage treatment plants.

“Working with the Illinois EPA, which have been great to work with throughout this process, it will save us some money on the front end of not having to make as costly of repairs to [wastewater treatment plants No.] I and II that we were going to,” Baldermann said.

Carroll said the Village is still trying to determine if it should seek another Illinois EPA loan to pay for the new regional plant.

“Those can only extend out 20 years,” he said, referring to the possible impact on current and future residents and business owners. “[The Board of Trustees], they’ve not started that discussion. There are other funding sources the Village can utilize.”

New Lenox prides itself on making infrastructure projects a top priority.

“This goes along way by securing this property,” Baldermann said.

The build-out for the new regional plant is anticipated to take four years.

County special use request approved

Also at the meeting, a motion was passed to approve a county special use to enable Gary Briden, to advance plans for his business, Safer Wholesale.com, which recently opened in town. The request concerns the 145,000-square-feet site of the former Panduit facility located at 1333 S. Schoolhouse Rd., a site not zoned in New Lenox but is contiguous to properties that are.

SaferWholesale.com has been selling online and in stores for 12 years, to date. According to the company’s website, the business has grown from a flea market to a retail/wholesale operation over the years.

The county special use is to help his company in getting a dealers license to sell street legalized motorsport units, such as all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, golf carts and other motorized vehicles, Briden said. The building, though it has access to water, is in need of a connection to the Village’s sanitary sewers.

New Lenox’s Plan Commission did not have any objections to the request and recommended approval to the Village Board at its recent meeting.

With the board’s approval in a 6-0 vote, the Village is asking the county to add a requirement to the special use making the owner responsible for providing additional landscaping to improve the site.

Round it up

A brief recap of action and discussion of the New Lenox Village Board of Trustees Jan. 22:

  • Officials created a Class SE liquor license for the New Lenox Lions Club’s mystery dinner fundraiser to be held Feb. 10 at the Lions Community Center.

  • Trustees approved a surety release valued at $59,282.50 toward Hibernia Estates Unit 2 for completing public improvements in accordance with the Village-approved plans and specifications.

  • A surety release was approved in the amount of $191,071.30 for public improvements completed to Prairie Crossings.

  • A motion was passed to grant a surety release valued at $166,713.16 for public improvements completed to Windermere Lakes Unit 2.

  • A surety release of $17,602.30 was approved for public improvements completed toward Leigh Creek South.

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