Mayor's Message - Winter 2014

Mayor’s Message 

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) recently audited the Village Water Department for compliance of regulations pertaining to our potable water system. A finding in the audit that is required to be corrected is single family homes with sprinkler systems. Any single family home with an installed lawn sprinkler system is required to have a backflow prevention device installed and professionally tested yearly by an individual licensed by the State. The Village will be requiring ALL single-family homes with sprinkler systems to be in compliance by spring.

The Village Board was presented with an ordinance to subsidize the annual cost of the inspection, which is approximately $50.00 per home per year. The Board decided not to approve the ordinance, which means the homeowner will be required to pay for not only the device but also the physical removal, testing and installation yearly. My reasoning for the subsidy was twofold; our water rate includes sewer charges and by reimbursing homeowners we could internally track the inspections. All water charges through the meter include cost of water, delivery, depreciation, and sewer that include depreciation and pumping costs.

I recently visited a senior with a typical sprinkler home system and reviewed the 2 month summer usage for 2011 through 2014. Useage was as follows: 2011, 43,000 gallons; 2012, 38,000 gallons; 2013, 32,000 gallons and 2014, 29,000 gallons. A typical senior uses about 2,000 gallons of water per month, 4,000 gallons per billing cycle. This equates to a bill of 4,000 gallons x $7.73 = $30.92 for water and sewer plus $13.20 for depreciation of the assets in the system and $5.00 per month for storm water maintenance costs. Include the administration fee of $1.00 per month and the total bill is $49.12 excluding garbage charges. The bill for this residential home was in the summer of 2014; 29,000 gallons x $7.73 =$224.17 plus the extra charge is $244.37 plus for water excluding garbage.

This type of bill is not unusual if you have an issue with a toilet running, a humidifier supply valve sticking, OR a leaky solenoid valve in your back yard controlling your sprinkler system.

Please contact the Water Department when you see anything you believe to be wrong with your bill. We all are here to serve you; Police, Fire, Public Works, Administration, Glenwoodie Golf Club, the Senior Center and Village elected officials. I believe it is a role of your local government to help you solve this type of problem. Our Public Works employees are very good at identifying the source of your water issue. The high costs of water wholesale require all of us to be vigilant and to prevent waste.

The Village has also aggressively looked to cut your costs with electricity, another utility we see as a monthly expense. When we aggregated the electric bills for our residents, ComEd had contracts for the delivery of electricity that guaranteed us significant savings for our residents. Those contracts have expired and the time has come to anticipate backing out of 3rd party delivery agreements and using either ComEd or another supplier of your individual choice. Linda Brunette, our Finance Director, has been very diligent on this issue since we originally aggregated our electricity and can help you decide what is best for your household. We will be hosting an informational meeting in January to explain how to proceed in this market to save you the most money.

Please work to keep your automobiles off the streets this winter to help our snow plow drivers be efficient and SAFE. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL!