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Normal Town Council OKs sewer project, agreement with planning commission


Working through a light agenda Monday night, Normal Town Council members approved a contract for a $790,000 sewer lining project, and renewed an agreement for technical planning services with the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.

Mayor Chris Koos and council members Karyn Smith and Scott Preston were not at the meeting that lasted about an hour.

Hoerr Construction will replace 14,000 feet of existing sewer lines in the town with cured-in-place lining. The repair method requires minimal digging and is intended to prevent sewage leakage into homes and the environment, the council was told.

Last week, the Bloomington City Council awarded a $1.43 million contract to the same company to perform the same work on 21,000 feet of sewer lines in the city.

During the town's consideration of the expenditure report, one item fell under some scrutiny from council member Stan Nord, who questioned a $5,000 payment to Paul Davis Restoration.

Water Director John Burkhart explained that it related to a water main repair on North Linden Street, after a resident’s dishwasher sprung a leak.

“We shut the water off, and when we turned it back on, a leak developed at the dishwasher. Was it 100% the town’s fault? It’s hard to say. The leak wasn’t there beforehand. We turned the water back on, they got a puddle of water on the floor,” Burkhart said. “The lady came running out the front door and said, ‘I’ve got a leak! I’ve got a leak! Shut it back off!’”

“In that short amount of time, we got $5,000 worth of damage?” asked Nord. “Yeah,” replied Burkhart.

“Wow. Okay. Thank you,” said Nord.

The council then voted to approve the report.

The final item the council voted on was a resolution to retain the services of the McLean County Regional Planning Commission.

After Nord questioned the efficacy of the organization, town planner Mercy Davison explained the commission has provided services such as securing grant money and running transportation research projects for the town.

Nord insisted he needed to know what the commission will do in the future, not what it has done in the past.

City Manager Pam Reece and council member Kevin McCarthy, serving as mayor pro tempore in Koos' absence, said the commission's service plan is clearly laid out in the text of the agreement, while council members Kathleen Lorenz and Chemberly Cummings praised the commission for its past work and insisted it would be less effective and more expensive to perform the same work in-house.

The council then voted to approve the resolution.

Philip Walker is a correspondent for WGLT. He joined the station in 2022.