Paris council approves water pipeline project

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Resolutions approved at Monday night’s city council session will move two major construction projects ahead – hopefully yet this year.

The council authorized the Paris side of a water supply agreement that will furnish a public water supply for the City of Chrisman. The Chrisman city council approved the agreement a week earlier.

This document certifies both cities agree in principal to the project to sell water from the Paris well field to the Chrisman water distribution system. It will allow preparation of a final contract, engineering to design the new water line which will run north along state Route 1 to the U.S. Route 36 intersection, and other actions including purchase of easements.

The line will also serve the Equity grain and feed mill development at Horace. Mayor Craig Smith noted this is nearing a $20 million investment by the agricultural firm headquartered in Effingham.

Paris plans to apply for an Illinois EPA loan to cover cost of the new water line. The additional cost of the project from the Horace Road intersection north to Route 36 will be repaid over time by the Chrisman water purchase.

The second resolution seeks approximately $378,000 in community development block grant funds from the state. The money will rebuild the block of Crawford Street immediately south of the old Paris High School, which is being converted into the Tiger Senior Apartments senior living center.

Current plans call for a circular drive to a new accessible south entrance to the building with access only from Central Avenue. The street will be closed at the current Main Street intersection, and additional handicap parking installed.

The city also plans to develop a new public parking lot on the current vacant property at the Main-Crawford corner. The grant request was the subject of a public hearing at the council’s agenda-setting meeting on March 6.

The request is for a portion of some $878,692 that previously was held in the city’s Revolving Loan Fund, established by repayment of various community development block grants in recent years. The state directed that any balance in these funds be returned to Springfield but they were to remain available for city application on up to two allowable community projects.

The remaining $500,000 can be requested for another local project.

Following approval of these two resolutions the council moved quickly through the remainder of the business agenda. Approved were:

-Valley Electric Supply for power and lighting at the Fire Training Center on the Cherry Point Road, for $3,818.

-ESO Firehouse to renew Fire Department reporting software for $1,055.

-CIT Trucks for $1,163 and Faulk’s Garage for $2,730, both for repairs on Fire Department Engine 7.

-Brown’s Service Center for $11,126 for a Gravely mower for the city parks department.

-$1,500 from the Hotel/Motel tax fund to advertise for the Eiffel Tower Triathlon later this spring.

The next Paris City Council meeting is 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 25, with an agenda meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 20.