Study: Gravel Pits Inadequate for Second Springfield Water Source
Study: Gravel Pits Inadequate for Second Springfield Water Source

It could be back to the drawing board for the city of Springfield as it found not nearly as much water would be generated from gravel pits as originally thought.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps. of Engineers have put a hold on plans for Hunter Lake, a proposed second water source, until viability studies are conducted on other sources.

Drawing from gravel pits in the Sangamon River Valley wouldn’t be adequate during an 18 month drought, according to Vic Kelson of Layne Hydro, which conducted the study.

“We now update the 13 million gallon a day estimate from the original study to be 9 million gallons per day, assuming the impacts on neighboring wells don’t matter,” said Kelson.

But the effect on neighboring water sources do matter, and when taken into account, show only 1.6 million gallons a day could be gleaned during an 18 month drought.

The next step, if the EPA and Army Corps. order more studies, would be to examine areas near the Havana Lowlands and the Illinois River Valley.

City Continues Moving Toward Downtown Land Purchase

In other business Tuesday, aldermen moved a step closer to telling the state it wants to purchase surplus property in downtown Springfield.

4th and jackson
The state’s selling this parking lot at 4th and Jackson as surplus property.

It’s a nearly two acre parking lot that sits between 4th and 5th streets to the west and east, and Capitol Ave. and Jackson St. to the north and south. One alderman is continuing his push to get the property appraised before signing a letter of intent.

Ward 7 Alderman Joe McMenamin wanted to make sure the $1.5 million dollar price tag, which would be paid for through downtown TIF money, isn’t too much.

“What I’m hearing from the public is they want to make sure we spend our money wisely,” says McMenamin. “They want to make sure those appraisals make sense, they want to make sure the city does not pay too much for this block of property.”

McMenamin offered an amendment to require the state to make public its appraisals before the city officially indicates its interest through a letter of intent to the state by September 8th. It was defeated, but the council approved a resolution noting the city will move forward.

The mayor said the city’s also looking to simultaneously purchase the old YWCA building for anywhere between $400,000 and $450,000 in TIF funds.