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Marengo water upgrades begin with replacement work

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, June 26, 2014 11:07 p.m. CDT

MARENGO – A northwestern Marengo neighborhood built in the wake of World War II will be the first area to see water system improvements, under a $4.875 million financing plan aldermen approved earlier this month.

Neighborhoods along West Van Buren Street, Sunset Drive and Willow Road will see about 3,100 feet of water mains, originally installed in the 1950s, replaced with modern-day ones.

The City Council this week unanimously allowed McHenry-based HR Green to start engineering the $724,000 project, with construction expected to start later this fall.

"We've had a lot of breaks," City Administrator Gary Boden said. "It's time for a replacement."

The replacement project is part of an ongoing effort to overhaul the city's water system, including a larger project next year that will add a new water well and treatment facility on city's west side.

Aldermen this month officially endorsed an $4.875 million financing plan to pay for the upgrades. The city issued about $3 million in new debt and restructured about $1.875 million in old debt under the plan.

The debt payments were structured and extended in a way that would prevent water rate increases, city officials have said.

With the Van Buren Street area upgrades, officials expect minimal traffic delays when crews begin to tear asphalt and place new water mains underground.

The installation work could conclude by the end of 2014, Boden said. Crews would then return the following spring to resurface West Van Buren Street, Sunset Drive and Willow Road.

"This project is not a complicated one," Boden said. "We are just opening up a street and putting in a new water main."

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