Critical infrastructure work to repair sanitary and storm sewer systems and reduce nasty basement backups and sewer overflows on the city’s east and west sides received the go-ahead Tuesday night from the Decatur City Council.

Council members voted 7-0 to fund rehabilitation of the city’s 7th ward sewer serving the west side of Decatur, a critical sewer the work upon which addresses a top sewer system priority. The agreement with SAK Construction LLC for roughly $7.7 million is more than 43 percent lower than the engineer’s project estimate with funding to be provided through a low interest loan from the state’s Water Pollution Control Loan Program.

The 7th Ward Sewer is generally located west of N. Church Street north and south of Eldorado Street extending north to West Olive, east along West Leafland and southwest past Riverview and Summit Avenues.  Council members on Tuesday also voted to go ahead with a long-standing need to separate sanitary and storm sewers in the Nelson Park area, authorizing a loan agreement to borrow up to $4.8 million in low interest funding from the same program. The need for sewer work in this area was reported as far back as the 70’s and 80’s and was most recently listed as the 2nd of 46 identified priority areas in the City’s 2009 Stormwater Master Plan.

In other business, council members heard a presentation on retrofitting interior and exterior lighting with LED systems, with an agenda item authorizing the work expected to appear on the council’s January 30th regular agenda. Retrofitting city lights is expected to reduce energy use by 64% and result in a 3.5-year return on investment after which taxpayers would see estimated annual savings of almost $140,000. The net cost for the project after a state rebate of $257,580 already secured by the City is $439,375.

Contact Billy Tyus at 217-424-2727 for more information.