Editorials

Sprinkle dirt with Collinsville water plant and see what grows

Collinsville water supervisor discusses Collinsville water plant

Collinsville’s water plant, which went online in 1958, lacks redundancy and limits the city from doing heavy maintenance that would shut the system down for more than 30 hours. Dennis Kress, water supervisor for Collinsville, IL talks about the th
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Collinsville’s water plant, which went online in 1958, lacks redundancy and limits the city from doing heavy maintenance that would shut the system down for more than 30 hours. Dennis Kress, water supervisor for Collinsville, IL talks about the th

Collinsville Mayor John Miller was pretty brave posing in front of that mound of dirt at the new city water plant site. At first glance it looked as if a prehistoric Indian mound was going to bite the dust. At second glance, it looked like a bad Dirtgate joke.

“Hey mayor, whaddija pay for that pile of fill dirt?”

But we digress. The clean fill dirt will be leveled by the contractor building the $17.8 million water plant expected to serve the city’s needs for 50 to 75 years. It is replacing the plant built in 1958.

City water customers are funding this expansion, an investment in their future and designed with capacity to add customers from other areas. The 10.5-acre site between Rural King and Collinsville Middle School only cost $55,000 and offers enough excess land that three acres along Collinsville Road can be sold for commercial development.

Developing that weed-choked lot and selling the frontage means a return on the land purchase price as well as putting the land back on the property tax rolls with potential for sales tax from a business there.

The water plant was originally going to be placed on land adjacent to the existing plant, but that would have taken out a ball field leased by the Collinsville Area Recreation District. The recreation district sued, so the city found the new site. The lawsuit is expected to be dismissed soon, both city and district leaders said.

There are a lot of wins here. The city workers and leaders who made it happen deserve credit, but never forget the water customers who agreed to a 38-percent rate increase to pay for it all.

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