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Montgomery water rate hike set : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Montgomery water rate hike set
Newly adopted ordinance includes future annual increases

by John Etheredge


Residents of the Village of Montgomery and the unincorporated Boulder Hill Subdivision will pay slightly more for their water service beginning this summer.

Currently, village residents pay for water at a rate of $4.90 per 1,000 gallons used, while the village's Boulder Hill customers pay for water at a rate of $6.03.

But under an ordinance unanimously approved by the village board Monday evening, the rates for village residents will increase to $5.10 per 1,000 gallons used. The rate for Boulder Hill residents will increase to $6.12 per 1,000 gallons used.

The new rates are effective May 1. They will be reflected on the utility bills the village will mail to customers in August.

The ordinance also calls for water rates to be increased an additional four percent effective May 1, 2015, and then allows for annual three percent increases "each May 1 thereafter."

Board members did not comment prior to adopting the ordinance.

However, during a board meeting in March, Village President Matt Brolley said the increases are necessary to provide revenues for the village to maintain its water system in the village and Boulder Hill.

Board member Denny Lee said he would like village residents to know that even with the proposed increases the village's rates will remain among the lowest in the area.

"The last time we put this information out we were like the eighth or ninth lowest of 10 surrounding communities," Lee said.

Justin VanVooren, the village's finance director, told the board that village staff recently completed a study comparing water, sanitary and storm sewer bills in the village, Sugar Grove, Aurora, Yorkville, North Aurora and Oswego.

VanVooren said the study shows the bills the village sends to its in-town customers are the second lowest out of the six communities. Only North Aurora's bills are lower than the village's, according to the study.

In addition, VanVooren said the study found the bills sent to the village's Boulder Hill customers are significantly lower than the bills received by unincorporated water customers of Aurora and Sugar Grove.

Rate increases part of
newly adopted budget

The water rate increases were proposed as part of the village's 2014-15 fiscal year budget also adopted by the board in a 5-1 vote Monday evening. Board member Theresa Sperling cast the lone negative ballot.

Brolley noted the budget was the first to be approved by the board since last April's village president and board election. Brolley and the current board was sworn-in last May.

The budget's general fund anticipates total general fund revenues of $9,173,133 versus expenditures of $9,158,459 for the fiscal year that begins today, May 1 and ends April 30, 2015.

Sperling said after the meeting her negative vote was due to the inclusion in the budget of funds for the new position of village police department lieutenant.

Sperling said she believes instead of hiring a lieutenant, the department "needs to build at the patrol officer and sergeant" level.

"In my mind I thought that lieutenant was something for the future," Sperling said, adding, "I believe the need for patrol officers and sergeants is more urgent."

She continued, "I had spent so much time and research basically fighting that position and trying to get it pulled, I felt I should vote 'no' because I was strongly against it. I didn't feel right voting 'yes' on the whole budget."

In a statement issued Wednesday morning, Police Chief Daniel Meyers said, "Creating the position of lieutenant is driven by our continuining commitment to public safety. As our community grows and changes, the addition of this command position will allow us to target and provide the safety and services our community needs, precisely where and when they are needed."

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