Chrisman accepts $795,000 water line bid

Posted 10/12/20

CHRISMAN — Andy Kieser, of Fehr Graham Engineering, briefed Chrisman City Council members Wednesday, Oct. 7, regarding bids to install a water line between Paris and Chrisman.

Kieser said …

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Chrisman accepts $795,000 water line bid


CHRISMAN — Andy Kieser, of Fehr Graham Engineering, briefed Chrisman City Council members Wednesday, Oct. 7, regarding bids to install a water line between Paris and Chrisman.

Kieser said B&T Drainage of Marshall had the lowest responsible bid for installing Chrisman’s share of the project at $795,857. The city of Paris is building a water line from the city north to the Horace-Brocton Road, and that line will branch to The Equity elevator and feed mill in Horace. Chrisman takes over construction at the Horace-Brocton Road to bring water on to the northern Edgar County community.

According to Kieser, Chrisman is eligible for an assured $400,000 in assistance from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help cover the cost of installing the water line.

“Possibly, you can get even more because the city is under a consent order from the EPA,” said Kiser, speculating another $500,000 is possible to help Chrisman switch over from its own wells to obtaining

water from Paris. He cautioned there is no guarantee the EPA will provide more funding, although he considers it likely.

Nitrites and an unacceptable level of arsenic, after the EPA changed the limits, in the city’s well water has made it difficult for Chrisman to consistently comply with the EPA’s clean water standards. While a consent decree is in place ordering Chrisman to take corrective action, the EPA has not enforced the decree as the pipeline option to obtain water from Paris was pursued.

“It is quite possible the city will need only a small loan,” Kieser said.

Council members passed a notice of intent to award the contract to B&T. Fehr Graham will forward the intent to award and the bid documents to the EPA for review and acceptance. Keiser said EPA’s approval will come with a financial agreement stipulating how much financial assistance Chrisman will receive. He did not know how long it will take the EPA to complete the review or when construction might start.

In a related matter, Keiser presented a contract for Fehr Graham to serve as Chrisman’s construction administrator. The contract set an hourly rate not to exceed a total of $50,000 in work.

“That way someone is watching out for your best interests,” said Kieser. “We will do all of the billing review.”

Payments for the new contract can come out of the loan so the city’s regular funds are not impacted.

Kieser also discussed the effort to build a new pavilion in Centennial Park to replace one that was structurally unsound. Chrisman received a $100,000 Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity grant several years ago for the project, but the money was frozen by the administrations of Governor Pat Quinn and Governor Bruce Rauner and never released. The grant was subsequently authorized by the JB Pritizker administration.

At the Sept. 21 city meeting, Commissioner Thad Crispin reported Fehr Graham submitted a plan for a new pavilion with an estimated cost of $147,000, which Crispin rejected as too costly. The new plan for a smaller building proposed Wednesday by Kieser came in at $98,000.

“That’s out of the budget,” said Crispin. “We got $100,000 to do this, and we have already spent $12,500 with Fehr Graham.”

Kiser said the company will take another look at the project to keep it under the limit, although some of the work may require future phase-in.

A new water line and a new pavilion were not the only money matters discussed during the evening. Commission Brian Haddix reported continuing problems with a lift station on the sanitary sewer system. He said the pumps located in the pit of the station are not working properly. One of the pumps has a bad check valve and a bad gate valve so that leaves only one pump to do all the work.

“That’s not good to have only one pump working there,” said Mayor Dan Owen.

Haddix agree, noting he had hoped to defer any repairs until financing is in place to construct a building at the location and move all of the controls and other apparatus out of the pit to a location above ground.

Commissioner Rodney Wolfe said the pump repairs will require a specialist from out of town since none of the city employees have the expertise to do the work.

Council members briefly discussed trick or treat hours and agreed to leave them at 5-8 p.m. Oct. 31 while encouraging all to be mindful of CDC recommendations for a safe Halloween celebration that minimizes the risk to COVID-19 exposure. Those recommendations are available on the CDC website.

Haunted house attractions are banned this year, and that puts a crimp on the Chrisman Public Library’s fundraising. City clerk Dena Burns said the library is working on plans for a haunted walk on the square in which small groups that can be properly spaced are led on walking tours.

Following an executive session, the council approved granting police chief Tom Dolan compensation time for any hours worked over a regular 40-hour week, but the comp time is limited to a maximum of 60 hours per year.