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NSSD approves $1.5 million for four projects

Updated: November 13, 2012 1:16AM

GURNEE — Trustees of the North Shore Sanitary District approved nearly $1.5 million in engineering agreements with Donohue & Associates, its engineering consultant, on Wednesday to develop four sewage treatment improvement projects

The individual projects and costs are as follows:

$56,070 to design, prepare for bidding, and construction related services to replace profuse leaking of nitrification aeration piping at the Gurnee Sewage Treatment Plant.

$809,710 to evaluate, design, and prepare for bidding of aeration air process and system distribution with the objective of reducing aeration energy requirements at the district’s three sanitary treatment plants.

$103,410 for design, bidding and construction-related services to provide several recycle flow improvements, including a recycle flow pump station at the Clavey Road Sewage Treatment Plant in Highland Park.

$469,120 for design, bidding and construction-related services for several improvements at the North Chicago Pumping Station (PS-4) including preparation for a new wastewater screening building, a new chemical odor control storage building and demolition of antiquated existing structures.

Board President Daniel Pierce of Highland Park posed several questions to Jai Gupta, the district’s engineering director, such as why not have some of this work done in-house, or whether other bids for this work were solicited besides Donohue & Associates.

Gupta responded that the project design work required was beyond the scope of his limited internal staff. Regarding the possibilities of seeking additional bids, Gupta said that while consultant work estimates are customary, it’s very unlikely in the business to seek bids for consultant services.

In other action, Gurnee resident Jerry Kolar returned to the board and said he was awaiting a response to his complaint that he and his Glen Flora Avenue neighbors in Gurnee have been paying the district’s $100 annual tax for 12 years, but still are not receiving any sanitary services. He has requested tax refunds for the neighborhood.

Kolar said he has discovered an unsigned pre-annexation file document on NSSD letterhead, and he claims since this was never legally consummated the neighborhood annexation to the district is null and void.

“With a pre-annexation agreement unsigned by the owner of a parcel, how can NSSD tax that parcel?” he asked.

However, NSSD Attorney Greg Jackson disputed this, indicating such a document is not required to be completed under statute and he said it really serves no legal purpose. Kolar disagreed this.

Trustee Tom Swarthout of Lake Forest, tiring of the repeated discussion after three board meetings, said, “We all need to move on.” Board members agreed.

However, Kolar insisted on a response, but none was forthcoming.

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