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Sycamore City Council to decide on 1st water study in 12 years

SYCAMORE – The City of Sycamore will undergo its first water study in more than a decade this week pending City Council approval.

City Council will consider a recommendation Monday from the Public Works and Building & Engineering Departments for a $78,300 water study. The study will encompass Sycamore’s entire water system – 100 miles of water main, two water towers and four wells – and will provide recommendations, cost estimates and time lines for a radium removal system for the system’s wells and modifications to improve water quality, according to city documents.

The water study will be Sycamore’s first step in securing a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to offset the cost of potential capital improvements to the water system, City Manager Brian Gregory said.

The last study was conducted in 2007.

“This would help us take a look at all of our infrastructure and best practices and help us with planning and budgeting to make sure we have the most cost effective infrastructure,” Gregory said.

A high level of radium was detected at one of the city’s wells within the past few years and steps have since been taken to reverse the contamination, Gregory said. Radium is a naturally occurring radioactive element that can be found in high levels in groundwater and can lead to an increased risk in cancer, according to the IEPA.

Remediation systems have since been installed in all four wells, but city officials want to find out if there is a more efficient and cost-effective way to lower contamination. There have been no radium violations from the state or federal level against the City of Sycamore from 2015 to 2019, according to past consumer confidence reports and data from the state and federal EPA.

One of the city’s water towers is also in need of maintenance, Gregory said.

St. Charles-based Trotter and Associates Inc. will conduct the survey and will start work this week pending City Council approval, according to city documents.

Theft ordinance

City Council will decide whether or not to pass an ordinance to establish “theft” as a miscellaneous offense to the City Code. The ordinance would allow police officers to charge offenders with an ordinance violation instead of a criminal arrest for small-scale theft and retail theft.

“It’s essentially an alternative,” Gregory said. “The theft ordinance provides the officer with some discretion in some cases.”

The violation would be geared toward first-time offenders and juveniles, and would be $150 for the first offense and $250 for subsequent offenses, according to city documents.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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