Chrisman finds solution to water issues

Local News

Water troubles in Chrisman, Ill. may be coming to an end.

For years, the city has dealt with contamination problems, and was ordered by the  EPA to get arsenic levels under control. Earlier this year, residents received an alert that dangerous levels of nitrite were found in the water source, making it unsafe for babies to ingest.

An agreement between the City of Paris, the City of Chrisman and Effingham Equity may be the answer to those problems.

Effingham Equity is looking to tap into Paris water at their location between Paris and Chrisman, at the same time Chrisman is wanting to purchase its water from the nearby city.

“The timing was really perfect,” Paris Mayor Craig Smith said of the three entities coming together.

The plan is for Paris water lines to be extended to the south end of Chrisman to allow them to purchase Paris water. A plan was already in the works to extend the line to Effingham Equity. With Chrisman jumping on board, the costs will be split between the parties.

“It’s a win-win,” Smith said.

Once the water project is complete, Paris will be the sole source of water for the City of Chrisman, putting an end to ongoing issues of contamination.

The next step is finding a way to fund the project.

Smith said Paris is planning to use money from the former Revolving Loan fund to help pay for the project. When the state ended the program, the City had to return the money; however, they were given time to come up with up to two capital improvement projects to spend the money on. The water line extensions will be one of those projects.

The next piece of the puzzle will be a loan between the three entities and the EPA, and if all goes according to plan, a loan forgiveness plan that will allow a percentage of the EPA loan to be forgiven, lowering the repayment costs for all involved.

During Monday night’s Paris City Council Meeting, a resolution was approved to allow Paris civil engineering firm Francis Associates to begin preparing a project plan for the water lines. The plan will then be submitted with the loan application.

If the loan is approved, Smith said the water project will move forward quickly, and Chrisman and Effingham Equity could be tapping into Paris water within a year’s time.

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