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Olympia Fields grant to cover sewer work

Updated: July 27, 2014 8:25AM



Olympia Fields has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will enable the village to complete critical sanitary sewer repairs, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly’s office announced Wednesday.

The village was facing the possibility of fines because of stormwater leaking into sanitary sewer lines, taxing the sanitary sewers and potentially causing them to overflow into streets or waterways.

Olympia Fields had previously sold $1.5 million in bonds to finance sewer repairs in the Graymoor area, which is bounded by Vollmer and Joe Orr roads on the north and south, Western Avenue to the west and the village limits to the east, village administrator David Mekarski said.

He said the village was cited for sanitary sewer overflow following abnormally heavy rains in 2006, and that Olympia Fields has spent more than $7 million on sewer repairs in recent years.

Mekarski said Kelly, D-2nd, was instrumental in securing the federal grant, which will allow the village to free up $500,000 in bond sale proceeds for sewer work elsewhere in the community.

He said towns around the country are under the gun to comply with federal rules on clean water and to eliminate infiltration of stormwater into sanitary sewer lines. Olympia Fields will need to spend $15 million to $20 million over the next 20 years to fix leaky sewers, Mekarski said.



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