The Gurnee village board has approved construction of a new water tower that officials say will improve the water pressure for residents on the village's west side.
The new tower, which is expected to cost just over $7 million, will be built on village-owned land at 1525 Knowles Road, near Rollins Road. The village board voted unanimously to approve the project Monday.
Jack Linehan, the assistant to the village administrator, said work began recently to clear brush and debris from the site to prepare for construction. According to village website, the new tower should be completed in 2020.
When the project was last discussed by the board in January, officials estimated it would cost $6.5 million. Monday, officials revised the estimated cost to just over $7 million and said the number is a conservative estimate.
Under the plan, the village will use a $5.5 million low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Linehan said the 20-year loan carries a 1.76 percent interest rate.
Linehan said the village will overpay it by $200,000 each year so it can be paid off in 11 years. The first loan payment will be made Jan. 1, 2019 and, if all goes according to plan, the final payment will be made Jan. 1, 2030, he said.
The difference will be paid for with reserve funds.
The new water tower, which will replace the graying 200,000-gallon tower near Gurnee Fire Station 1, will have 10 times the capacity, and because the tower will be located farther west, it will improve water pressure where it is needed the most. The old tower will be removed this spring.
According to the village, residents who live west of Almond Road have the lowest water pressure in the village -- 30 to 50 pounds per square inch, compared to the average 70 to 80 pounds per square inch.
When the old tower is removed, Gurnee's total capacity will be at 6 million gallons, or about 1.7 days of water in reserve in an emergency. The new tower will boost capacity to 8 million gallons, or about 2.2 days of reserves.