Monmouth, IL Public Works Operations: A Public-Private Partnership

Monmouth, IL Public Works Operations: A Public-Private Partnership

There are several notable facts about Monmouth, Illinois, a city of nearly 10,000 residents on the western edge of the state. It’s the birthplace of Wyatt Earp, the one-time home of Ronald Reagan, and an innovator in creating public-private partnerships to provide City services.

This spring, Woodard & Curran entered into a partnership to take on all operations of the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW). The firm is assuming responsibility from a previous private management organization and is retaining current DPW staff.

This public-private model allows the City to focus on its core services while finding partners to take on responsibility for specialized areas of operations. Under the 10-year agreement, Woodard & Curran is responsible for: management of engineering services and right-of-way authority; water treatment, distribution system, meter reading, and billing operations; wastewater treatment and collection system operations; street and right-of-way maintenance including signs, trees, curb/gutter snow removal, road repair, cemetery grounds maintenance; and downtown beautification, landscaping, and maintenance of public grounds.

Wastewater and water treatment systems

Woodard & Curran will operate and maintain the City’s wastewater treatment systems, which include the North Pretreatment Plant and the Consolidated Treatment Plant. The North Pretreatment Plant was built in the mid-1960s to provide wastewater treatment for the nearby pork processing plant. Over the years, the facility was challenged with meeting Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) effluent standards, and an upgrade was completed in 1991. Phosphorus removal was added to the North Pretreatment Plant in 2012.

Effluent from the North Plant is pumped to the Consolidated Treatment Plant where it is combined with flows from the City’s sanitary sewer system. The blended flows receive final treatment and are then discharged. The City has a separate storm sewer system.

The Monmouth water treatment plant provides an average of 2.7 MGD and has a maximum treatment capacity of 5 MGD. The City operates five deep wells and three water towers. Raw water is pumped from the wells (averaging 2,450’ deep) to two ion-exchange softening plants for treatment. The water treatment plants were built in 2004 and include disinfection and phosphate addition to inhibit corrosion.

Beginning operations

With more than 78 miles of roads, 60 miles of water distribution lines, and 45 miles of sanitary sewer lines to maintain, there’s a lot of work to be done in the months and years ahead.

“We’re excited to begin this partnership with local staff and the City of Monmouth,” says Marc Thomas, Woodard & Curran’s Area Manager in the region. He notes that Woodard & Curran plans to utilize its resources to look for ways to provide operational and technical improvements in an effort to improve the quality of services to staff, city officials, and residents. “It will be critical for us to be responsible stewards of City resources as we move forward.”

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