Macomb Police receive recognition during City Council meeting

Steven Barnum, Assistant News Editor

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The Macomb Police Department was officially recognized as a “Tier 2” accredited agency, which very few departments in Illinois can say.

Tier 2 accreditation is awarded when a department displays professionalism and excellence with policies and procedures that span from bulletproof vests to seatbelts. To recognize the Macomb Police Department for its Tier 2 accreditation, Mayor Mike Inman introduced Dan Ryan to the podium. Ryan, the regional Vice President of the Illinois Police Chiefs Association and the Police Chief of Leland Grove, Ill., was pleased with Macomb’s agency.

“It’s my honor to be here tonight to present the department with accreditation,” Ryan said. “There’s only 28 agencies across the state of Illinois that are accredited.”

Macomb’s department has been accredited in the “Tier 1” category for nearly as long as it has existed, but reaching the next level is even more impressive.

“It’s a great step for your department,” Ryan said. Also speaking at the meeting was Macomb Chief of Police Curt Barker, who gave credit to Lieutenant Jeff Hamer.

“Yes, I gave him guidance, but without Jeff we could not have managed to get where we are,” Barker said. The department will now proudly hang an accreditation plaque in their building.

On a lower note, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a violation notice to Macomb for two separate issues.

The violation says that levels of both pH and chorine are too high in the town’s water that travels to the lagoons. Inman stressed that the violation does not concern the quality of the water. The Public Works Committee, along with Public Works Director Scott Coker, believe they have a solution: installing a CO2 system.

“We presented this proposal to the EPA and they have said that it’s acceptable,” Coker said.

City Administrator Dean Torreson discussed the financial options for the project.

“This is an unexpected expense,” Torreson said. “We normally carry a cash reserve of $1 million, but with this expense our cash reserve could go down to $103,000.”

Another option would be to acquire a low-interest loan from the EPA, which the town has done in the past. “This is a fairly low dollar amount to borrow money on,” Torreson said.

The system will cost $700,000 and must be implemented by Oct. 1, 2019; however, the town may benefit from completing the project sooner since the new system will be more efficient and will cut costs. The town had already planned on installing a new system in the distant future, but the EPA violation will push that plan to the immediate future.

Coker also presented the council with a preservation plan for Macomb’s roads.

A quantitative evaluation indicates that there are roads that don’t need to go through a complete reconstruction phase. The process would preserve the more moderate streets in town, specifically Lafayette Street, before the next construction season. If the process is not adopted, moderate streets may decline in quality and cost more in construction costs.

The process involves using cape seal, a chipped surface that lasts between five and seven years, which the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has started to use. Coker calculated that the process will cost Macomb $300,000, but will also save money. “There are 83 miles of streets in Macomb,” Coker said. “The reconstruction process would cost $24 million, but by doing the cape seal, it would cost one-third of that.”