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Council approves replacement outdoor warning sirens, lead service line location project, strategic plan


Decatur, IL – Highlights from the January 16, 2024 Decatur City Council meeting include approval of two replacement outdoor emergency warning sirens, a project to accurately locate lead water service lines, and the City Council’s 2023-2025 strategic plan & priority goals.

Outdoor emergency warning sirens

On Tuesday night the Decatur City Council discussed emergency notification systems and eventually approved replacement of two outdoor emergency warning sirens. Decatur currently has 21 of these warning sirens. 11 have been replaced since 2015, but parts and the cost of replacement has continued to rise. Despite rising costs, Council members believed the sirens are a necessary means of notification in case of emergencies.
     The quote from Federal Signal Corporation for two sirens is $47,827 and an additional $135,019 for the siren activation & monitoring system. Weather permitting, they will be installed and operational within 60 days. The expected life of the new sirens and activation system is more than 20 years.

Lead water service daylighting project

     Also approved was a project to help locate lead water service lines in Decatur. The City’s Public Works department has been working on a Lead Service Line Replacement Program (LSLR) since receiving guidelines from the federal and state EPA. More information about this program is at
     The agreement approved Tuesday night with Hoerr Construction, Inc. will give the City data on hundreds of water service lines to see if any have galvanized lead that needs to be replaced. “Daylighting” involves exposing a small section of the service line to determine with certainty what type of material the pipe is.
     In January 2023, City Council approved a cost-sharing program to help residents pay for replacement of private water service lines. In 2023, at total of 24 water service lines were replaced through this program. City staff is working to identify other financial assistance for residents.
     The cost of the daylighting project is $307,825 and is covered in the City’s 2024 Capital Improvement Plan, with assistance from a recently-awarded $50,000 grant from the Illinois EPA’s Lead Service Line Inventory grant program.

Strategic Plan

The City Council has finalized and adopted their Strategic Plan to guide decisions through 2025. The plan also includes a document that will track progress and measure outcomes of programs and projects related to the Council’s priority goals.
Priority Goal #1 – Community Revitalization (formerly Neighborhood Revitalization)

Goal #2 – Grow, enhance, and better prepare the local workforce to meet current & future demands

Goal #3 – Take downtown to the next level; and select other commercial districts for revitalization

Goal #4 – Select new technologies to improve municipal service delivery, create efficiencies, and enhance access to information and services for the citizens of Decatur

Goal #5 – Be more innovative in securing the City’s financial security; enhance and expand utility assets to strengthen economic development

Goal #6 – Collaborate with others in ensuring integrated and wholistic management of city-owned open spaces, transportation corridors, and especially Lake Decatur

A full description of each of these priority goals can be found in the Council packet.

More information about these topics can be found in the City Council Agenda packet, downloadable/viewable here:

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