From wastewater work to a Subway Drive-thru: Here’s what's coming to Eldon in 2021

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
A view of the roadwork being completed on 3rd St. in Eldon, which has been closed for months as the city worked on improving the drainage system underneath.

Spring has already bloomed around the lake area and 2021 is still just getting started. Residents in Eldon have a number of city improvements to look forward to as the year progresses. Here’s a list of things to look out for:

Road Work Ahead

The City of Eldon has a lot of road work planned throughout the year. Coming soon, residents can plan on paving work to be done around South Maple in front of the school, Colorado St., Third St. and a section of Second St. City Administrator Don Smith says scheduling for these pavement projects is still being worked on, but he anticipates that it will begin around the time school is over before summer. 

Wastewater work

Smith says the city plans to do some work on their sewage collection system. Around a mile of pipe work will be worked on, mostly consisting of the 18-inch pipe that leads into the treatment plant. He says residents likely won’t notice this work being done, but the work is a major part of the city’s 2021 infrastructure plans. 

A detailed analysis will also be conducted for the rebuild of the city’s wastewater treatment. Smith says they want to adjust the plans currently in place and find ways to lower costs. Currently, the plan would cost around $20 million, $15 million of which would be paid by the city. They are currently going through the plan step-by-step to find any ways to cut the total down. 

Eldon Estates, Distressed home rehabilitation

The city is closing in on construction plans for Eldon Estates. Smith says they plan to knock down a number of the most damaged buildings and rehabilitate the remainder. The owners of the estates have confirmed with USDA that they are ready to begin work. Smith says that the city hopes this rehabilitation will be the final scar from the 2019 tornado that will need to be healed. 

Eldon is also continuing work on rehabilitating their distressed homes throughout the community. Smith says they are doing work as fast as costs and materials will allow. However, he admitted that the work has not been completed as quickly as they would have liked. 

Online City Payments

Eldon City Hall will soon be rolling out an internal beta to test the usage of a new online bill payment system. Once released on a wide scale, residents will be able to see bills and bill history, as well as make payments online. They will be setting up this software within 2021 and hope to have around 500 residents using the method by the end of 2022. Smith says this will not only reduce hassle for residents, but also cut down administrative costs.

New Business

While there isn’t a lot of new business planned at the moment, there are some developments that might interest residents. A medical marijuana dispensary will be opening at the end of Spring, early summer (more information coming soon). Smith says that both Gateway and Quaker had great years in 2020 and expects growth from both throughout the remainder of the year. There is also some work being done to rewrite local ordinances on food truck allowance, possibly opening the path to allowing more food trucks within the city. 

Smith also confirmed that Subway is working on a drive-thru lane in its existing location. The plans have already been submitted to the city and work on this project should begin soon. 

“Our business climate is looking good,” Smith said. “Most businesses in town tell me the main problem is finding workers. The jobs are there and ready.”