MORRISON – City officials are proposing about $5.8 million in water system upgrades for the next few years, starting with improvements on Main Street.

The city is nearing approval for Illinois Environmental Protection Agency loans that provide a low interest rate, partial loan forgiveness and extended payback periods.

The city mains are aging and undersized, and projects include addressing dead ends in the system in need of looping to improve water quality and flow, City Administrator Barry Dykhuizen said.

The projects are slated for the next 5 years. Phase 1 starts this year and will include replacing the century-old Main Street water main from Orange to Clinton streets that has created problems for downtown business owners for years.

Plans also are to create a water main loop at U.S. Route 30 and Wall Street.

That work would total about $1.3 million.

Bidding for the Main Street project will take place next month, when they’ll have a clearer picture of the cost and timeline, Dykhuizen said.

Phase 2 includes an estimated $1.46 million in work installing a spray aeration system to improve circulation in the elevated water tank for well number 4, where the city has been using extra chlorine to counter a strong hydrogen sulfide odor.

Also planned is water main replacement for Orange and Genesee streets and creating a loop.

The third year focuses on replacing 1,290 aging water meters with smart meters, which will cost about $1.07 million.

Phase 4 includes replacing more water main on Main Street from Clinton to Jackson streets, as well as building water main loops at Carolyn Dive and Jackson Street and at Randall and Hilltop drives. That cost is estimated at $679,000.

For nearly $1.3 million, Phase 5 would replace water main on state Route 78 and create loops at Prairie View Drive and Genesee Avenue as well as Greenland and Ridgewood drives.

Water rates aren’t expected to increase for the first 2 years, but could go up by $1 in 2022, then by $1.20 and $1.60 the following years.

The projects aren’t set in stone, and any rate increases would need council approval.

For more local news, visit at

Lee County