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Richmond taps into underused sewer plant

Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

RICHMOND – To pay off a $7 million loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the village of Richmond is looking to make its underutilized sewer plant a new revenue stream.

The Richmond Village Board unanimously approved a budget Thursday evening for fiscal 2013, which begins May 1.

The budget includes about the first six months’ worth of payments on equipment that will allow septic haulers to dump concentrated sewage at the plant – and allows the village to charge them for it.

The sewer plant was built in 2004 with the expectation that connection fees from the Prairie Hill subdivision would pay off the Illinois EPA loan, $450,000 in annual payments over 20 years.

Because the subdivision was never developed, the income never came in.

It also means the plant’s capacity was never reached. The village hopes to tap into that capacity by getting into the septic hauling business.

The additional equipment will cost $200,000 over two years, which Village President Pete Koenig considers a long-term investment.

The village has been negotiating with the Illinois EPA to reduce its annual payments, and at this point, it looks like the loan will be modified to $375,000 in annual payments over 30 years, Koenig said.

That’s still higher than the $250,000 to $275,000 village officials had been hoping for, he said.

For the last couple years, the village has been paying interest only in its two annual payments, and even though it has an agreement with the Illinois EPA allowing it to do that again this year, the budget is prepared to make one interest-only payment and one payment that includes a principal payment.

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