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Monticello’s water treatment plant is almost finished

Monticello’s Board of Aldermen tackled a weighty agenda at its latest assembly.

Residents filled the City Hall conference room to capacity, and — as the meeting got underway — a chief topic of discussion was the progress made to Monticello’s water treatment facility.

“We started a rehab on our water treatment plant in June, and it’s running behind schedule,” Mayor Martha Watts said.

The town recently received a final invoice for the project from Diamond Engineering, but Watts said the board does not plan to release any funds to the company until the rehab is satisfactorily completed.

Monticello’s aldermen also passed a city ordinance regarding a piece of public property given to Habitat For Humanity. The edict states that if the donated house is not habitable by January 2019, it could revert to city ownership.

“We do not intend for this property to come back to us,” Watts said. “But we also don’t want it to sit there indefinitely in its current condition.”

She said if the house is not fully livable by this time next year, the city would reassess Habitat’s construction deadline.

“It’s a protection for us and a motivation for them,” Watts said.

In addition, the board announced the upcoming sale of two city-owned automobiles. Monticello’s park ranger needs a more utilitarian truck, and the sale of the two older vehicles will help facilitate that purchase.

“The truck we plan to sell is not in the best working order,” Watts said. “And the Expedition that our park ranger currently uses is not really fit for the job.”

Overall, Watts foresees a productive year for Monticello, and she intends to tackle all forthcoming challenges with gusto.

“2017 was a great year for our town,” she said. “We’re expecting 2018 to be a good year, too.”

Monticello’s aldermen plan to kick the New Year off by revamping some of the town’s technological infrastructure.

“Recently, we’ve noticed some electrical issues, and we’re going to begin by addressing them,” Watts said.

For instance, one of Monticello’s pumping stations is in need of some major rewiring. Watts recently took a tour of the station, and she was troubled by what was uncovered.

“I was appalled by what I saw in one of the electrical boxes,” she said.

She said the box is filled with cloth-wrapped wires and fuses from the first half of the 20th century. The rewiring project will undoubtedly be pricey, but the electrical box must be updated in order to prevent any long-term complications, she said.

“The expense doesn’t matter,” Watts said. “Safety and functionality are what really matter.”