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By NIKOLLE KEENEY
Rantoul Press correspondent
GIFFORD — Repairs have been completed on the village water tower. After being shut down last week, the tower is now back on line.
The 50-year-old tower had been shut down due to a leak that had developed on the bottom of the tower. The leak was an urgent issue, and contractors had to cut a section of pipe from under the tower and apply fittings.
Village Superintendent Jess Childress reported the amount of work done on the tower was less than contractors had anticipated. The original estimate for the project was $25,000; officials expect the actual bill to be much less.
While the tower was down, Childress ran a fire hydrant outside town on a pressure relief valve. Childress said only a few residents called in to complain about their water pressure. For the most part, the change in water pressure went unnoticed.
“Everything was completed a lot quicker than I thought it would be,” Mayor Derald Ackerman said.
In other business at Thursday’s meeting, the board elected to donate $200 to the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition, a group of area governments hoping to federally protect the Mahomet Aquifer from a request by the Clinton landfill to dispose of chemical waste above a water source that reaches about 750,000 residents.
The coalition, made up of the communities of Champaign, Urbana, Decatur, Savoy, Normal, the University of Illinois and several smaller area towns, is hoping to designate the aquifer as a sole source aquifer, meaning that it would supply 50 percent or more of the drinking water for this service area with no available alternatives in the case of contamination, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The coalition requested local governments to consider donating 50 cents per resident on an annual basis. Trustees of Gifford elected to donate a flat $200 this year and further assess the donation request next year.
The village will again host its annual Christmas decoration contest.
Cash awards will be given to each the best decorated residential areas, senior living areas and businesses. Prizes of $75, $50 and $25 will be awarded in each category.