Local

Algonquin approves hike in water and sewer fees

ALGONQUIN – The Village Board approved an increase in water and sewer charges that will add a $10 a month flat fee to residents’ monthly bills and increase the rate per 1,000 gallons of water each year until 2021.

The new rates, which will go into effect in November, will increase the bill of the average home by $10.63 a month in the first year, a 23 percent increase.

The combined water and sewer charge, currently at $7.81 per 1,000 gallons of water, will increase to $8.08 in fiscal 2016-17, and will increase annually until reaching $16.94 per year in 2021-22. After that, the rate will increase by the consumer price index each year.

Village Manager Tim Schloneger said the village enacted the changes because it wants its water and sewer utilities to pay for themselves.

A number of factors contributed to the rate hike, Schloneger said. The village had previously used some of the money from its home-rule sales tax toward maintaining the sewer system, but made a decision two years ago to shift that entire fund to preventative road maintenance.

Water and sewer revenues currently fluctuate greatly year to year based on tap-on fees from new development, and the village has seen a drop in water usage as it encourages water conservation, Schloneger said.

A study from RHMG Engineers Inc. said $22.8 million of repairs and expansion of existing water facilities are planned through fiscal 2021-22, and annual rehabilitation of water mains, collection systems and lift stations will require $2.23 million a year.

“We are trying to balance the cost of the main to get [water] to your house, the plant, the cost to meet all [Environmental Protection Agency] requirements with our push for conservation,” Schloneger said. “That’s why you’re seeing a blended rate going forward.”

Schloneger said next year’s rate – which will go from $46.86 to $57.48 for a home using 6,000 gallons – still compares favorably with nearby municipalities.

“The worst thing you can do when you’re part of a utility is kick the can down the road and let problems become bigger and compound, because catching up is extremely difficult and painful and even more expensive,” Schloneger said. “We’re being proactive here.”

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.