DANVILLE – Aqua Illinois Area Manager Bob Ervin has continued to answer questions and provide information on Aqua’s proposed solar project to neighboring residents and some aldermen since a zoning meeting earlier this month.
“I’m looking forward to the city council meeting next week and hopefully moving this project forward. It provides a tremendous opportunity to approximately 55,000 people served by Aqua Illinois here in Danville and Vermilion County,” according to Ervin.
The Danville City Council on Tuesday will consider Sol Systems, LLC’s request of a special-use permit to allow for the construction of a large ground solar energy system at Aqua Illinois’ water treatment plant at 1300 W. Fairchild St. in the AG Agriculture Zoning District.
The Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission on May 2 recommended approving the special-use permit with a 4-1 vote.
One commissioner, Ted Vacketta, said Aqua has tried to be as neighborly as possible and address neighbor concerns as much as it can, such as almost doubling the setback for the solar array and having fixed tilt panels. He also said a benefit to everybody would be fewer water rate increases in the future with Aqua’s operations savings in electricity.
He did suggest Aqua work more on vision screenings, than just the trees and fencing.
Ervin said the projected savings to the water company with the solar array would be $100,000 annually.
Ervin also said this is a piece of unproductive land for the water company and with the solar array to provide the company electricity, “we feel like this is a good balance.”
Ed Dwiggins, one of the approximately 15 residents who have property bordering the proposed project along Logan Avenue and Westwood Place, said at the zoning meeting that during about six months of the year, with no vegetation to block their view, they’re going to see the panels. He and other homeowners say their property values will drop, and they asked Aqua to consider moving the panels west of the treatment plant and across the river.
Also Tuesday, the council has discussion of city employee residency requirement as an item of information, in addition to appoint interim fire and police chiefs and amending the city’s wage administration chart as possible action items after closed session.
In other business, council members will consider:
• Approving an intergovernmental agreement with the Housing Authority of the City of Danville for the city to demolish six buildings at Fair Oaks public housing complex. The HACD will pay the city a cost not to exceed $110,000.
• Vacating sidewalk right-of-way for the HACD for better control over loitering persons.
• Authorizing acceptance of the $25,800 donation from Don and Deanna Witzel for police overtime hours.
• Approving a special-use permit requested by Jeffrey Hurley to allow for a specialty goods sales, Adventure Awaits Toys & Games toy store, at 3124 N. Vermilion St. in the B2 zoning district. The site is across from the Village Mall. With approval, the store could open around Aug. 1.
“It’s not just a common toy store,” Hurley said, adding that the store will have toys and games that cannot be easily found elsewhere and patrons can try them out in the store.
• Approving the city’s 2019 Community Development Block Grant annual action plan.
• Purchasing right-of-way and easements for the Fairchild and Hazel streets intersection work. The project is being put on hold, but Williams said the parcels can be purchased now for future work.
• Granting an easement to Ameren Illinois for $1 to relocate part of its overhead electric facilities over a portion of 21 E. Voorhees St. The relocation needs to occur as part of the Jackson Street shared-use path project, according to city officials.
• Authorizing an updated agreement with FETCH Dog Park Group at Espensheid Park.
• Authorizing the purchase of three new police vehicles; a fire division budget amendment for grant funds to offset budget overages in salary and overtime; and an amendment for year one of the state grant funding for Ellsworth Park improvements.
• Authorizing budget amendments in the revolving loan fund, TIF West Gate Fund and landfill remediation fund.
• Authorizing application to Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Camera Grant Program.
The Danville City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.