As many of you know, the Village of Oreana decided in the spring of 2018 to pursue the construction of a new water tower. This decision came after inspections of the current tower had revealed that it is under-sized for the demand, and also in need of repair work that would exceed the tower’s value. At that time, we began the process of applying for a low-interest loan from the Illinois EPA to finance the design and construction of a new tower, as well as demolition of the old tower. Since it has been a little over a year since we embarked on this journey, I wanted to provide an update on the process as it stands today:

As with any project, an unexpected delay often pops up. In the case of our water tower, that delay came in March of this year when we were notified that our current tower is eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places. The significance of this is that demolition of the tower requires approval from the State Historic Preservation Officer, and as such, there are certain requirements that must be met before we are able to demolish the old tower. Much as the past few months have been spent working with the State Historic Preservation Officer, our engineering firm, and a historical contractor who will complete the work required to obtain approval to demolish the tower. This process has slowed the loan application process, but we continue to move forward.

Although the loan application and approval process has been slowed by this delay, we have made progress in other areas. The design work of the new tower is nearly complete, and a location has been selected. The new tower will be located on East Street, on property already owned by the Village.

I will provide another update once we have more information to report. Thank you for your patience as we work through this process. I am optimistic that a new water tower is on the horizon. Our infrastructure is vitally important to us, and generations to come.

Mayor Aaron Keathley