GEORGETOWN – City officials voted Monday to pursue a loan of up to $4 million to help pay for major renovations at the wastewater treatment plant.
Georgetown City Council members will begin the pre-application process for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's low-interest-loan program. The council is seeking up to $4 million, but may not need all of that.
Mayor Darrell Acord said the digester at the treatment plant needs to be overhauled, the chlorinators need to be replaced, and the entire plant needs to be re-engineered and modernized to better handle the city's waste.
"The plant still works OK, but nobody can tell us how that is possible," Acord joked.
In related business, the council voted to replace the core of the inoperable radiator at the wastewater plant and its generator.
Cummins Power Systems of Indianapolis will repair the radiator and generator and supply the plant with a temporary generator during the repair for a total of about $8,000.
Alderman Kim Shrout said the radiator, which heats the entire plant and is capable of providing heat and electricity to keep the plant operational during a power interruption, is housed outdoors and recently stopped working.
In other business:
– The council voted down a request to hold a children's winter festival in the community center later this month.
The Georgetown Ladies' Club and Party On Rentals of Westville had contacted the public properties committee last month about holding a festival in the community center on Feb. 28. The festival would have been open to the public for a fee, and would have had up to five large inflatable toys – such as slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses – in the community center, as well as carnival games, food stands and music.
Alderman Tom Smith said the committee discussed the request, but ultimately recommended against the festival, citing concerns such as whether the community center could accommodate the anticipated crowd, whether there was enough parking for attendees, and whether the inflatable toys would damage the floor.
"I'm in favor of holding activities for the kids," Smith said. "But this could attract a lot of kids, and I would have concerns about their safety."
Alderman Darren Alexander said he was concerned about safety as well. He said the community center gymnasium is only about the size of a basketball court, and that the inflatable toys, food stands and games would leave little room for the children to walk.
"We have 550 kids in the Georgetown-Ridge Farm school system alone," Alexander said. "Of course, they would not all attend the festival, but it would certainly draw kids from nearby communities."
Tammy Riggleman of Party On Rentals said safety was the company's main concern. She said she was surprised by the council's vote, and thought the festival would be good exposure for her company and good for the community as well.
Riggleman said she may contact the Georgetown-Ridge Farm school district about holding a festival in one of the school gymnasiums.
"I would still like to have a festival in the Georgetown area," Riggleman said. "I think it would give the kids something fun to do."