Sanitary District Catch-Up


A couple weeks ago, a neighbor asked about the status of the DeKalb Sanitary District’s pursuit of city approval for a “biosolids barn,” and I realized I haven’t read San meeting minutes since the DeKalb High School lift station fiasco. Here are few items of possible interest gleaned in the catch-up efforts.

December 8, 2009: This was a special meeting, an executive session to discuss personnel, but was conducted as an open meeting to discuss the requirements and timeline for recruiting a new district manager to replace the retiring Mike Zima.

December 16, 2009: In response to a public inquiry about the biosolids project, San officials state that the District has the project on hold in order to investigate another site for it. Also:

In Plan Review, Mike described Northern Illinois University’s dissatisfaction with the District’s limit of 25 gallons per minute as the maximum amount that can be discharged from the Chiller Plant into the 8-inch Garden Street sewer they hooked up to (without consulting the District first). Because the University had agreed to accept the limits to discharge, the District signed the University’s belated IEPA Sewer Permit Construction Application last month . Mike said that normal District procedures would call for the facility to be isolated from its existing connection until all issues (including permit issues) can be resolved. While the 8-inch sewer cannot accept the rate of discharge NIU wants, the sewer on Lucinda could, if NIU put in a sewer to connect the Chiller Plant to it. Janice explained that the connection fee for the Chiller Plant and possibly any outstanding Administrative and Plan Review Fees will be deducted from the amount the District would otherwise refund NIU in 2009.

January 20, 2010: In response to public inquiry regarding when a proposal to increase connection fees would be brought to the Board, San officials responded that they would be considered when there is a change to the economic climate. The District is pursuing an intergovernmental agreement to place the new biosolids barn on airport property, and readying an application to the FAA for permission. The Country Club lift station rehab has hit a $53,000 snag. The Board reviewed a draft of a mailer to inform customers of the receipt of federal stimulus funds, but directed preparation of a press release instead.

February and March 2010: Board discusses NIU Campus West, Shodeen/NB&T, Elliott Business Park and Cavel projects.

April 2010: The selection process for the new district manager is described. The Board welcomed Mark Eddington to the position. Eddington is an engineer who worked for Trotter and Associates, Inc., a firm that coincidentally does a lot of work for the District. The Board was asked to respond to a City of DeKalb request for a 15% increase in the amount it charges the District for billing for sewer services on its utility bill. The District asked for documentation of the need for the increase. Also:

Mike Zima said that he and Steve Olsen met with Northern Illinois University Chiller Plant planners consequent to Mr. Zima having an isolation plug placed in the line exiting that facility to prevent the facility from endangering nearby properties with discharges of water in quantities beyond the capacity of the 8-inch pipe that serves the area. NIU agreed to install a two-inch restrictor pipe to limit flow from the facility. He anticipates that this arrangement will be acceptable to the District.

May 2010: Officers are selected for the new fiscal year. Depositories and depository limits are discussed and voted on, as is the newest intergovernmental agreement on tax abatements. Disclosures about trustees’ connections to the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp. and to the various banks abound. The 3M project at Park 88 and the hog slaughtering operation that hopes to locate in the old Cavel plant are discussed. The Board is still waiting to hear from the City of DeKalb for the reasons it is requesting an increase in its fees for billing for sewer. The District reports it has removed the sewer plug from the NIU chiller plant site, now that NIU is meeting District connection requirements.