The City of Rockford on Feb. 11 approved going out for bids for a large utility improvement project that includes replacement or lining of sanitary sewer mains, possible replacement of private sanitary sewer services, replacement of water mains and services and storm sewer improvements for several areas in the city identified as most in need including portions of Elmwood Drive, Maple Drive, Elm Street, Park Street, High Street, County Road 33 and Highway 55. The work is part of a long range utility improvement plan that will concentrate first on areas either experiencing issues and repairs as well as those most likely to due to age and condition. The plan is devised to systematically improve the city in sections and over a number of years.
A portion of the overall project includes inspecting private sewer lines that convey sewage from privately owned structures to the sanitary sewer main. After reviewing televised inspections, property owners will be advised if, and what kind of repairs, are needed to ensure efficient and sanitary operations. Property owners will be given the opportunity to schedule needed work with the contractor the city hires for the overall project, or to hire the work done independently. In either case, after a private sewer line improvement has been identified, the property owner will receive a work completion date which must be met to avoid an additional $100 monthly sanitary sewer service fee. The purpose is to make sure that a single, private line in disrepair, or displaying blockage potential, does not jeopardize the main line and other users. The council, after discussing the details of a proposed ordinance to this effect, voted 4-0 to adopt it.
The engineer’s estimate for the 2014 Rockford Utility Improvement Project is $3,609,816 including engineering costs and geological testing. The sanitary sewer services estimate does not include the private sewer line improvements. The estimated average cost for affected services is approximately $8,000. The council will present payment options for residents needing repairs/improvements to their private sewer lines.
The council, after some discussion, approved keeping Waste Management as it refuse hauler and extending the contract to seven years (over the five in previous agreements) to ensure the lowest future rates. The city’s new administrator, Dan Madsen, negotiated some additional free collection and dumping services for the city that will result in additional annual savings of about $3,500.
The council expressed satisfaction with Waste Management and appreciation over extra non-charged hauling in conjunction with the city’s annual River Days celebration among other things. The council accepted the new terms of the contracted and voted 4-0 to retain Waste Management as its hauler.
And, also in city news, Rockford Accounting Clerk Marlys Elsen was recognized for 15 years of excellent service. Elsen’s expertise includes payroll, accounts payable, utility billing and customer service. The council applauded her years of dedicated service and awarded her a gift certificate.
The Rockford City Council will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall, 6031 Main St.