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Rewatering, roadwork, sewer in Ottawa budget

Extending a sewer line to gas stations on Route 71 beyond Interstate 80 is one of Ottawa's major projects budgeted for the next year.
Extending a sewer line to gas stations on Route 71 beyond Interstate 80 is one of Ottawa's major projects budgeted for the next year.

Unlike last year, when the protracted installation of bump-out curbs, vintage lighting and plantings on Columbus Street drew public attention, this year’s projects in Ottawa will be somewhat less bothersome.

But one that might be a close contender on the city’s South Side is the scheduled makeover of 4-H Road from Adams Street west to the 4-H fairgrounds. The $1 million- plus project will include curb and gutter on both sides of the roadway as well as a sidewalk on the road’s south side.

One project that may catch public interest — but not public inconvenience — will be the rewatering of the stretch of the Illinois & Michigan Canal between Guion and Walnut streets. The goal is to develop a recreation area for residents and visitors. The grading work will begin in July by elements of the Army and Marine reserves.

Another project residents will be able to keep track of is the extension of a sewer line up Route 71 to the gas stations across Interstate 80. Besides capturing new property tax and sales tax revenue, the improvement will make it possible to develop land along the roadway. Work already has begun on this project.

Those projects are included in the city’s new budget, which was approved at a special City Council meeting Wednesday morning.

The budget shows $51 million in expenditures and $42 million in income, with the difference being made up by funds on hand, said Commissioner Tom Ganiere.

“This is probably one of the easiest budgets we’ve done,” said Commissioner Wayne Eichelkraut.

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