The Watseka City Council is yet to make a decision on whether to extend its contract arrangement with ERH Enterprises for managing the city’s water and wastewater operations.
A vote could happen at the city’s May 28th council meeting. That’s when two new aldermen will be seated following the April election. The swearing-in of Benny Marcier and Donnie Miller will again fill the council with its eight elected-aldermen.
Discussions have focused on taking-back the water system to make it in-house. But it’s been 20 plus years since the city ran its own system. The cost, manpower, and meeting certification requirements are among the issues the city needs to figure out.
The heavy hand of federal regulations can so often, get in the way.
The annual $534,000 contract Watseka pays ERH finds the McBride’s responsible for certification and any shortcomings, according to owner John McBride ……….
"We guarantee cost and compliance. Should there ever be fines on mistakes, we cover that, not the city." McBridfe points out. "We also provide emission insurance. Mistakes are ours, no cost to thye city."
Meanwhile – aldermen and ERH are still talking about a possible extension of the contract that ERH has operated under for some 23 years.
ERH contracts with nine water systems in Iroquois County, plus the City of Hoopeston and others in Vermilion County and Indiana. ERH manages systems in Gilman, Cissna Park, Buckley, Loda, Crescent City, Beaverville, Danforth, and the Lake Iroquois Association Wastewater Treatment Collection.Sean McBride says there’s a lot for the city to consider and absorb is the system is to return in-house ……
"So much to be aware of....certified operators, skilled laborers, machinists if needed, and maintenance, fuel, lab tests. Skilled people are brought in as needed." Sean said.
ERH has been recognized several times for its work in the industry. John McBride holds the highest certification attainable for Wastewater and Potable Water Treatment in both Illinois and Indiana.