Mount Pulaski town meeting draws a crowd on water issues

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[April 19, 2018] 


The city of Mount Pulaski held an informational town meeting on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 to address the community's water issue.

Several concerned citizens turned out at the Family Life Center to listen to a panel discussion led by Mount Pulaski City Council members Matt Bobell, Aaron Palmquist and Andrew Neaville. Superintendent of Water and Sewer Matt Presswood was also on hand to discuss the information presented.

While some of the information seemed confusing to residents, the council members did an excellent job fielding the many questions and concerns brought forth by residents of Mount Pulaski.



Water Hand Out - Pdf

Farnsworth study/report - PDF

A seven-page document was handed out to everyone in attendance with the last page consisting of a survey. Neaville stressed to everyone to please fill out the survey and turn it in at the end of the meeting.

While there were some differences of opinions on how to solve the city's water situation, these men are working diligently and responsibly to find the right solution with the community's input on the matter.

At this point, Mount Pulaski is faced with six simple options:

  • Option #1 ~ Do Nothing

  • Option #2 ~ Treat the iron and manganese

  • Option #3 ~ Treat nitrates

  • Option #4 ~ Buy water from Illinois American Water in Lincoln

  • Option #5 ~ Join United Regional Water Co-op

  • Option #6A ~ Sell our water system to Illinois American Water now

  • Option #6B ~ Sell our water system to Illinois American Water later

The city council members urge the community to voice their opinions on the matter and many did on Tuesday night. Bobell emphasized, "Time is on our side."

In looking further at Option #1, according to the handout provided on Tuesday evening, doing nothing means "keep everything the way it is, hope the nitrates go back down, and accept brown water complaints as a cheaper way of operating. We could wait until things get worse and take action down the road. This would keep the current cost of $1.23 per 1,000 gallons."

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Bobell addressed Option #1 to the crowd saying, "We do have water right now. There are some towns that are joining the co-op that are not as fortunate as we are and that are wanting to push the issue and get this thing built so they can get their water. I want to make sure that we make the correct decision and I think that's the most important thing that we should take away from this meeting. We gotta make sure we make the right call. That's why were are having this. That's why we are here."

Following the meeting Neaville added, "I put all the information there (in the seven-page handout) and I am hoping that with the surveys we get a clear direction. If somebody who was not here wants to chime in with what their opinion is, I am willing to add that to the stack."

"One of the options in there is to do nothing," added Neaville. "We'd be fine for another five years doing nothing. I would say a minimum of five years. I don't know how long past that."

Neaville continued, "Three years ago when I got on the council, one of the things was, how can we improve water quality? So we started looking to see what we could do to boost this along. That's where other communities at the same time were looking at similar things, and where the co-op (idea) got started and kind of pool our resources and what can we do to benefit. A lot of towns are going to the same thing. Other towns are worse than we are."

Another important piece of information to emphasize is cost. The council has done their homework in providing the many different scenarios involving cost. It is advised that residents take a look at the information provided and voice their opinions to council members.

The water issue will be addressed at the next city council meeting on April 24th at 6:30 p.m., and if necessary it will again be discussed at the May 8th meeting. The community is always welcome at the meetings.

For further information Mount Pulaski citizens can also contact Andrew Neaville at 217-454-9158.

Bottom line is it appears Mount Pulaski is dealing with a water system around 100 years old and down the line somewhere, something has to be done.

[Teena Lowery]

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