The Geneseo City Council awarded a $2.4 million contract to build a 1.2-megawatt solar array to Geneseo-based J.F. Edwards Construction Co.

The Geneseo City Council awarded a $2.4 million contract to build a 1.2-megawatt solar array to Geneseo-based J.F. Edwards Construction Co.

At the Tuesday, March 10 council meeting, aldermen also approved financing the project with $1.5 million in 10-year debt certificates through Central Bank of Geneseo.

According to Dave Phillips of Speer Financial, the annual charge for the bond issue will average $170,000, which is below earlier $189,000 estimates.

An additional $1 million for the project will be provided by the privately funded Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

Under the terms of the grant, the city has to pay the entire cost of the solar array up front and have the project operational by the fall to receive the $1 million grant.

Until the grant is received, the city’s utility department will receive a loan from the general fund at 1.25 percent interest.

After 10 years, the solar array is expected to generate between $140,000 and $200,000 in annual revenue.

At a February city meeting, Samir Mehic, vice president with J.F. Edwards, told the council construction on the solar array is expected to start April 8 and be “substantially completed” by July 31.

At the March 10 meeting, aldermen also:

• Approved selling 5.3 acres known as “Townview Estates” to Bob Pettit and Hazelwood Homes for $107,200. The land is located next to Richmond Hill Park.

• Voted to purchase a new squad car and additional equipment for $32,778. Seized funds will be used for the purchase.

• Requested Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the general assembly provide full funding of local government distributive fund revenues. Mayor Nadine Palmgren said the governor’s proposed 50 percent reduction in local government distributive funds would “harm the city quite a bit.”