Shorewood OKs engineering for 2014 sewer work

Published on: 8/13/2013

Shorewood — The second phase of sewer work on the village's north side was set in motion by the Village Board on Monday with the approval of a contract for preliminary design work.

Crystal Lake, Ill.-based firm Baxter and Woodman received the approximately $115,000 contract Monday, and will deliver designs throughout the year so the village can bid out the sewer work in winter 2013. Construction on the project is slated for 2014.

The project itself is the second phase of a plan to improve sewer function, reduce basement backups and minimize street flooding in the area referred to as drainage basin six on the village's north end. Phase one of the basin six rehabilitation occured in 2012 along with work in basin one, located near Captiol Drive and Oakland Avenue. The 2014 basin six project, presently estimated at about $2.1 million, will also detach Shorewood and Whitefish Bay's sewer system in the area, freeing up capacity for Shorewood's sytsem.

Whitefish Bay will contribute $250,000 to the cost of the 2014 basin six project, as it did for the 2012 work.

At the Monday meeting, trustees were preoccupied with the question of if and how a water main should be replaced along Glendale Avenue at an estimated cost of $285,000 as part of the project.

'Much of what we discussed (in an earlier committee meeting) had to do with water main replacement,' trustee Jeff Hanewall said, 'whether we think we should do this as preventative maintenance versus doing that in the future.'

The section of 60-year-old water main runs under Glendale Avenue from Marlborough Drive to Larkin Street. Trustee Thad Nation pointed out that the village didn't replace the main when the Glendale Avenue was rebuilt in 2005.

'We dug it up once. We're going to dig it up again,' Nation said. 'Are we really not going to replace a 60-year-old pipe again?'

The engineering firm will include designs with and without the water main replacement for the board, said a Baxter and Woodman representative, at which point trustees can make a decision.

While discussing the project and its funding, several trustees pointed out that the overarching master plan for village-wide sewer rehabilitation almost assumes a stormwater utility — a user fee based on the estimated amount of rainwater runoff properties create during storms — to help pay off the overall cost, estimated between $30-$35 million.

Since 2011, trustees have discussed the possiblity of creating a stormwater utility but have not yet formally acted.

'We're not there yet,' trustee Michael Maher said, 'but we're going to have to have some serious discussions on that.'