The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

March 18, 2013

DHS work removed from agenda

City to set meeting to discuss dams

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — City council members will not take a vote on Danville High School campus improvements as expected tonight.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer e-mailed aldermen and the media Monday.

“After speaking with Chairman (Mike) Puhr of the Public Works Committee, and due to the information requested by aldermen and our desire to provide that information in advance of the vote, we are removing from the agenda for the Tuesday, March 19, meeting the following items:

“These items will be placed on an agenda during the month of April once we have distributed additional information which has been requested. Thank you for your understanding,” Eisenhauer’s e-mail read.

The aldermen are to consider approving a $986,487 contract with Midwest Asphalt, the lowest of three bidders for the DHS campus improvement project.

The Public Works Committee voted 3-2 against the planned project last week.

The city received an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grant, to spend up to $750,000 on eligible items, for the DHS campus parking lot and multi-use field improvements. It also will use about $484,000 in Midtown Tax Increment Financing funding and sanitary sewer fund money (about $35,000) on the DHS campus storm water improvements.

The reconstruction of the southern high school parking lot includes a green overflow parking area along Hazel Street that can be used as a practice field for marching band or other activities when not needed for parking.

The project will use environmentally friendly pavements and landscaping to allow water to pass through them into a granular filter below that cleans the water before releasing it back to the storm sewer system.

Dams

Another controversial issue that has residents talking is the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ removal recommendations for the Ellsworth Park and Vermilion River dams.

Opponents continue to talk to city officials and others about how important the existing waterway is and the greater reasons not to remove the dams.

Eisenhauer says after everyone has had a chance to read and go through all the material that was sent by the IDNR, the city will schedule a meeting and public hearing on just that item sometime in April.

With the city owning the Ellsworth Park and Vermilion River dams, the city council would have to approve removal of the dams.

The IDNR, Office of Water Resources, recommends partial dam removal for the Danville Dam on the Vermilion River and full dam removal for the Ellsworth Park Dam on the North Fork Vermilion River.

IDNR Director Marc Miller said about the recommendations of a complete removal of the Ellsworth Park dam and complete notching of the Vermilion River dam, the buttresses would be left there for the Vermilion River dam behind the Public Safety Building, with the dam face being removed.

“Part is keyed into the bank, so you do not disrupt the bank…,” Miller said, adding that all the concrete that holds back the flow would be removed.

Other options looked at for the dams: partial removal, stepped spillway and rock ramp alternatives.