New equipment to extend life of Richmond sewer plant

RICHMOND – Richmond is set to keep "the Beast."

The nickname refers to an add-on that gives the village's sewer plant the ability to handle concentrated sewage from commercial septic haulers.

With the trial period for the equipment ending in November, the Richmond Village Board voted, 5-1, to have a contract to purchase the equipment prepared. It is set to vote on the contract at its Nov. 7 meeting.

The sole "no" vote was made by Trustee Craig Kunz, who did not return a message seeking comment left at the Village Hall.

The village plans to pay $175,000 cash for the equipment instead of financing it through the company for two years, which would have cost a total of $200,000, Village President Pete Koenig said.

It expects to spend an additional $15,000 to $25,000 moving the equipment to a permanent location inside the plant.

Some village officials had been unsure about whether they wanted to keep the equipment, which was five months late and was accompanied by "less than what we would call adequate” installation help, Koenig said at a Finance Committee meeting earlier this month.

The village investigated whether it could continue to serve commercial haulers without the equipment, and the village engineer calculated that while it could, the lifespan of other plant equipment would be affected.

In terms of prolonging the life of the plant's pumps and maintenance issues, the equipment would pay for itself in six years, Koenig said.

Village officials hope the new revenue stream will help cover upcoming payments to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, which financed the construction of the larger sewer plant.

The loan was to be paid using connection fees from a 396-home subdivision, Prairie Hill, that ended up not being built.