By Sue Moore
Over 1,500 business and residential water bills have been reviewed by staff at the village hall with 15 percent identified as needing further review. “We have a two-decade old problem that the village has put off fixing,” Jim Mallery told the village council.
A full report for billings that need correcting will be provided to the council in April, Mallery promised. “In the past if someone objected to their charges, the staff would change the bill to appease the people with the issue but never attempted to correct the problem. It was the big elephant in the room that they didn’t want to take on. There was a problem with some of the meters too. If a resident had a pool, there were two meters and the amount simply inputted wrong each quarter, so the problems kept going on. There was also the size of the flow that wasn’t recorded. Some families had one-inch flow listed when it was really only a three-quarter inch pipe.”
Valves would break and need replacing. Each one costs about $4,000. Randy Schippers, head of the Department of Public Works (DPW), is identifying the entire system’s layout and preparing a 10-year plan to replace the valves and put in a proper maintenance program. It will cost about a quarter of a million dollars over the next 10 years.
There is a great need for a third water well in the village, Mallery told the council. “We are at 77 percent capacity. When we get to 80 percent the state will require us to build a new well, so we need to get ahead of the game.” The village has a proposal by the engineering firm of Prin & Nuehof to explore a site at the cost of $8,000, Mallery said. “We can apply for a grant in the future but will use water funds for now. With 107 new homes coming on line in Centennial development in the next few years, we will be over the 80 percent threshold.”