The cost of municipal water in the Village of Union Grove could be in for a significant increase if officials follow through on a proposal to raise rates.

Village to seek its first rate hike in more than a decade

By Dave Fidlin

Correspondent

At the strong urging of the village’s financial advisor, Union Grove officials are in the early stages of going before state officials and seeking authority to increase water utility rates by as much as 42.5% in the road ahead.

The village’s Water, Wastewater, Storm Water and Streets Committee on Feb. 21 discussed the fiscal health of each of the village’s three utilities — the other two being sewer and stormwater.

“The water utility is the one we’re most focused on, from a struggling standpoint,” Jon Cameron, senior municipal advisor with Ehlers, told committee members. “Sewer and stormwater are in much better positions.”

Ehlers has recommended the village file appropriate paperwork with the state-run Public Service Commission for the authority to raise rates.

Based on preliminary number crunching, water rates could increase from their current rate of $4.14 per 1,000 gallons of use to $5.90 per 1,000 gallons.

The figures represent a potential quarterly service charge for the average household within the village from $31.83 to $45.36, accounting for the 42.5% increase for the water portion of the utility bill or a 17% increase in the total bill (with the other utilities in the mix).

Cameron, in jest, said the village ultimately would wind up on PSC’s “naughty list” if no action was taken.

The village does have a number of infrastructure projects on the horizon that will impact the water utility’s bottom line. But even if the projects were subtracted from the equation, Cameron said action is needed.

“You are at a point where you really need to consider this,” he said. “Even if you don’t move forward with any of these projects, you still need to take action.”

To read the entire story see the Feb. 25 edition of the Westine Report.