CLINTON - The tracts of plowed earth bordering the front of Clinton High School could lead to development on the city's west side.
Contractors are in the initial phase of installing a sewer and water line extension for the area. The sewer line will extend from Kelly Court in Mariah Commercial Park north of the school on Illinois 54. A water line extension will be constructed along the west side of the U.S. 51 bypass west of the school.
Mayor Roger Cyrulik views the work as an open door to developers.
""We will have all the infrastructure there for a developer. We hope this work will lead to some additional activity on the west side," Cyrulik said.
Property annexed into the city along the U.S. 51 bypass several years ago will have access to the new infrastructure.
In the spring, work will begin on the second phase of the project. A water tower will be constructed north of the high school tennis court. The tower will serve two purposes, administrative assistant Tim Followell said.
"The water tower will address life-safety issues and bring better water pressure to the area," Followell said.
As public facilities and residential properties expand on the west side, the need for additional water for firefighters also has grown. In the past two years, Hawthorne Inn opened as a nursing home and the Clinton Junior High was completed on the west side.
The total cost of the infrastructure project is about $2.7 million and is funded with a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
At least one local business has announced plans to move its operation to the west side.
First National Bank and Trust Co. will break ground next spring for a building in Mariah Commercial Park. The bank's building on the downtown square will be sold, bank chairman John M. Killian said.