Water, sewer rate increases to help update aging systems

By on April 18, 2013

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—The public is invited, along with village trustees, to take a tour of Elburn’s waste-water treatment plant on Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m.

A representative from Engineering Enterprises, Inc. will attend the village’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, April 22, to present information about what is needed to update and modify the plant.

Public Works superintendent John Nevenhoven said the plant is vintage 1980s, and trustees will be able to see for themselves “how it operates and how it doesn’t operate.”

Nevenhoven said during budget talks that the village has put off capital improvement projects of the water and sewer systems for so long, that it’s necessary to make that investment now.

One of the big ticket items in next year’s budget is $300,000 for engineering and other start-up work for the waste-water treatment plant modernization project.

“We very much have an ancient system,” Nevenhoven said. “These funds will get us started.”

The board held off on a vote to approve the 2013-14 budget until April 22 due to the absence of trustees Jeff Walter and Ethan Hastert at the Village Board meeting on Monday. The board, however, did approve the water and sewer rate increases that will help to pay for the infrastructure costs.

According to trustee Bill Grabarek, the money from the water and sewer rates charged to the residents goes into something called an “enterprise fund,” which means that the money coming in must cover the cost of providing the services.

Nevenhoven explained that an average customer uses 700 cubic feet, or 5,000 gallons of water per month. This customer would see an increase in their bill of about $6 a month, up from $55 a month to $61.

The new rates will take effect May 1, with the beginning of the new fiscal year.