The Lincolnway Railport could be one step closer tonight to breaking ground, if the Clinton City Council agrees to award Reilly Construction a contract for the project, totaling close to $1.5 million.

The Northern Iowa-based construction company was one of seven to bid on the project, which supporters say will bring jobs and economic development to Clinton.

A panel of consulting engineers recommended Reilly after reading the offers from each company. The project was originally estimated to cost $2.35 million. Reilly was one of five companies with offers below that estimate.

If approved, the Lincolnway Railport could smoothly transition toward its scheduled mid-August groundbreaking ceremony and begin construction.

Also before the City Council Committee of the Whole tonight is a resolution to forgive outstanding sewer fees from 2005 and 2006.

The resolution stems back to a period during which the city did not send out water bills because of a change in computer software, which left several building managers and residents with unexpected costs.

This was further exacerbated by the city’s inability to turn off the water for delinquent users.

The city previously hoped to remedy this by outsourcing the sewer billing service, but that idea was eventually abandoned because of high costs.                                     

The resolution would waive delinquent fees from the time in question. If the committee approves, it will still need the City Council’s support before it becomes official. The committee will also hear from the city’s Community Development department on how to improve Clinton’s Urban Revitalization program. The department was requested to analyze the program back in January. They will present recommendations to the committee following the City Council meeting.

The council meets at 7 p.m. tonight at City Hall.