On March 15, 2018, the Village Board approved an Ordinance instituting a $30 bi-monthly Water and Sewer Infrastructure Maintenance Fee effective April 1, 2018. Raising fees is always a difficult decision; however, providing quality Water and Sewer services to residents and businesses is an essential service.
The Village operates its Water and Sewer Fund completely from user fees for service and receives no property tax revenue. These user fees must cover the cost of operations including the cost of water, personnel, and debt service. Any remaining funds are used for Water and Sewer related Capital Improvements.
Over the past 10 years, operating expenses have increased 52% while the offsetting revenues have only increased 36%. The major factor driving the increase in operating expenses is the cost of water which has doubled. The Village utilizes Lake Michigan water supplied by the City of Chicago and purchased from the Village of McCook.
The Village has used operational surplus to fund capital improvements such as the First Division Sewer Separation Project on a cash basis. However, the projects outlined in the Village’s 5 year Capital Improvement Plan will decrease the fund balance in the Water and Sewer Fund to below minimum levels by 2021. The infrastructure fee will allow the Village to complete the current projects outlined as well as other much needed improvements to our aging water and sewer systems.
We understand that rate increases are difficult and this decision was thought through and well researched. In order to provide a healthy water and sewer system in our community, it is vital that we take a proactive approach to maintain and improve our water and sewer infrastructure.
If you have any questions or comments please contact us at: WSInfrastructureFee@riverside.il.us.