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updated: 4/9/2014 9:09 AM

Lindenhurst closer to switching to Lake Michigan water

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  • Constructing is to begin this year on the village of Lindenhurst's project to get water from Lake Michigan.

      Constructing is to begin this year on the village of Lindenhurst's project to get water from Lake Michigan.

 
 

Details are firming up in the yearslong effort to bring Lake Michigan water to Lindenhurst, with construction of some portions of the project expected to begin this summer.

A summary and environmental assessment by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency outlines nearly $16.4 million in various components that need to be complete before a Lake Michigan water connection can be made.

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The improvements to be done in two phases include a 1 million-gallon water storage tank, a booster pump station and more than six miles of new water mains. New, larger transmission mains within the village are expected to improve water pressure and capacity.

"We're trying to obtain low-interest loans from them (IEPA)," Village Administrator Matt Formica said. "That would fund the internal system improvements we need to make within Lindenhurst so we would be ready to connect to Lake Michigan water."

The IEPA report is part of the loan application process as the village wants to borrow the money for 20 years at an interest rate of about 2 percent. The process includes a public hearing but that has not been scheduled.

Water bills will nearly double to pay off the loan. The average household can expect to pay $16 per month more on the water rate component of the village bill, Formica said.

Water users also will pay an expected $220 more a year in property tax as part of a special service area created to fund construction of the main pipe carrying Lake Michigan water to the village, Lake Villa and two unincorporated areas.

Work set to start in August and to be complete in May 2015 involves the 1 million-gallon water storage tank near the village's existing elevated storage tank at 2901 Falling Waters Blvd. More than 23,000 feet of various sizes of water mains, dozens of valves and hydrants, and curb, pavement and turf replacement also are planned.

The second part of the project is scheduled to begin in April 2015 to be completed in January 2016. That involves building the booster pump station and installation of 13,100 feet of water main to bring lake water to about 200 homes now on private wells.

"The financing mechanisms are in place. We're in the process now of designing and getting ready to build," Formica said.

The village has partnered with Lake Villa and Lake County, which operates water systems in Grandwood Park and Fox Lake Hills, in the Lake Michigan process.

Lake Villa also is applying for an IEPA loan, which should amount to $4 million to $5 million, according to Mayor Frank Loffredo. The village runs on a divided water system and the pending work would consolidate those.

The villages late last year became members of the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency, which will supply the Lake Michigan water. Lake County already is a member.

The nearest Lake Michigan water connection point is at Hunt Club Road and Grand Avenue in Gurnee. The agency just finished a route study with options for two segments to connect with Lindenhurst and Grandwood Park, and Lake Villa and Fox Lake Hills on the northwest.

Preferred routes for both are expected to be chosen at the agency meeting April 23, to be followed by preliminary engineering and final design. Bids for that work are expected to be let in summer 2015.

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