The Vandalia City Council made the first big step in working towards the construction of a new water treatment plant, approving an engineering agreement at its meeting Monday night. At a work session held prior to the council’s August 20 meeting, Lee Beckman of Milano & Grunloh Engineers, LLC was in attendance and presented the council his firm’s findings after touring and examining the existing plant and estimated the cost of upgrading the existing plant at $15 million and the cost of constructing a new plant at $21 million. During the work session, it was the recommendation of Beckman that the city go with building a new plant and after that meeting, Mayor Rick Gottman stated that a new plant appeared to be the way the council was leaning as well due to the current plant built in 1951 nearing the end of its usable life. Upgrading the plant would still leave portions of the plant being more than 60 years old while Beckman said there was no reason that a new plant would not last more than 70 years. With the unanimous approval of the council, the engineers will now begin to try and secure rural development funding according to a timeline included in the agreement which was requested by the council. As the timeline is presented right now, the completion date goal for a new plant is September 2021 with completion starting in the Spring of 2020.