With Deerfield’s new Wastewater Reclamation Facility 95 percent complete and fully financed, the Village officially opened the new facility with a flag raising ceremony Monday and the best part may be how little residents would have noticed the two-year project.
The new facility containing state of the art technology and built in the most environmentally sound way possible, was constructed around the original 1954 plant to avoid any possible inconvenience to residents.
“It was created around the old building,” Mayor Harriet Rosenthal said. “It’s a green center. It’s LEED certified,” she added referring to a special certification that comes from the federal government.
LEED is an acronym for Leadership Energy Environmental Design, according to Assistant Village Engineer Robert Phillips.
An array of good fortune and also enabled the Village to obtain advantageous financing for the $32 million project with the help of state Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and bonds sold last week by the Village at an interest rate of less than two percent. Garrett was honored Monday for her efforts.
“Between you (Acting Financing Director Eric Burk) and Susan (Garrett) we are in good shape,” Director of Public Works and Engineering Barbara Little said when she opened the ceremony. Garrett was honored for her effort helping to obtain $13 million in bonds.
Two years ago Rosenthal and Trustee Mary Oppenheim were in Springfield lobbying members of the Illinois General Assembly on pension reform when Rosenthal had the opportunity to sit next to Garrett at dinner. The mayor talked to the senator about financing the facility.
“Of course you can,” Rosenthal said to Garrett, who agreed to take up the challenge. She ran into some roadblocks but remembered Rosenthal’s confidence.
After learning some programs were no longer available for public works projects, Garrett began to lobby Illinois Finance Authority Executive Director Chris Meister. The organization tries to find low cost unconventional capital for projects around the state, according to its website.
“I love Deerfield and wanted to help,” Garrett, a 1968 Deerfield High School graduate, said. “I know Chris Meister. I told him you have to do this. This project is making a difference from a lot of perspectives.”