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|Abingdon Stimulus Money Request for Fire Hydrants Denied
|The new Abingdon City Council wasn't seated very long before getting some discouraging news.
The four aldermen who were elected to four-year seats on the council and two more appointed by new Mayor Roger Stegall for the next two years got down to business after all were sworn in during Monday night's meeting.
The city has applied for a zero-interest loan through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency that would be funded with economic stimulus money for two projects estimated to cost a combined $550,000 to complete. One involves replacing 1,200 aging residential water meters and the other would replace 150 fire hydrants - some of which are more than 50 years old.
City engineer Kevan Cooper told the council the fire hydrant project won't get funded.
"The EPA has a rule that in this particular program the money cannot be used for fire protection, so, it's only meant for potable water. I tried to word it that replacing the hydrants wasn't just a fire protection problem, it's also to keep the lines flushed out and things of that nature. It has to do with the water quality (but) they didn't quite see it my way."
Cooper says the city is still in line for $250,000 in stimulus funding to replace the water meters. Abingdon will have to pay back 75 percent of the loan, or $187,500, over 20 years.
Alderman Myron Hovind recommended talking to State Representative Don Moffitt to see if he could help. Stegall agreed, saying if the city has to pay for the hydrants it will cost an estimated $300,000, or around $2,000 each. He says it's an expensive problem that the city council will have to address soon.
If the city can't get any help for the project, Stegall says the process will likely involve replacing only a few at a time where they are needed most.
|05 05 09 by Newsroom
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