Village Board Authorizes Upgrades to Public Works Building; Clarifies Water Rates
Trustees approved up to $45,000 worth of upgrades to the public works building project.
A request to upgrade the salt storage capability for the $9 million public works facility was approved at the regular Village board meeting on Monday. The price tag is up to $45,000, but it's expected to save money in the long-term.
The change reflects a staff request to construct a salt dome rather than the planned traditional storage building. Kurt Carroll, village administrator, said during last week's Committee of the Whole meeting that the dome is preferable because it increases the capacity and it's easier to use. At the same time, it's expected to diminish the need for a costly conveyor.
The dome is similar to what the Illinois Department of Transportation uses to store its salt. On the New Lenox site, it increases storage capacity by 800 tons, from 5,400 tons in a traditional building to 6,200 tons in the dome.
Water Rates Clarified
Mayor Tim Baldermann took time to clarify some questions that have trickled down since the announcement at the last board meeting on Jan. 14 concerning the restructured fee schedule.
The establishment of a $32 monthly line charge fee for infrastructure together with the tri-tiered water rate actually works to save money for people whose monthly usage is minimal. Individuals and families that leave for an extended time will be saving $6 or $7 a month more than the price that they've grown accustomed, he said.
The key to the program is that consumers will be paying for the actual amount of water they use. "So really, all things considered, we're doing exactly what (people) have wanted"—to pay for what they use, he said. For many senior citizens, the monthly bill will likely be lower than what they've paid in the past.
At the same time, the tri-tiered rate system is expected to raise bills just a few dollars a month for those that exceed 9,000 gallons.
Considering Chicago and Oak Lawn's infrastructure upgrades, Baldermann said New Lenox has fared well. "We fight really hard for all of our people," he said.
Here's the breakdown on fees
Level 1: less than 9,000 gallons of water used a month will cost 3.59 per 1,000 gallons
Level 2: 9,000 to less than 20,000 gallons of water used a month will cost $4.59 per 1,000 gallons
Level 3: 20,000 gallons and over of water used a month will cost $7.00 per 1,000 gallons
In response to a question for the sake of clarity by Trustee Annette Bowden, the mayor said "the first 9,000 gallons will cost $3.59 per 1,000 gallons. Anything over that will be charged at a higher rate."
The tiered system is meant to encourage water conservation. 'Water is a commodity," he added.
Electronic message ordinance
In other business, trustees authorized an ordinance to allow electronic message boards. The ordinance was penned in response to a request by Presence Healing Arts Pavilion. The pavilion was granted a zoning variance last month to construct the sign.
Robin Ellis, director of community development, said the ordinance permits electronic message center signs in commercial and industrial districts. The sign must be no closer than 150 feet from a residence. In addition, the signs can be no closer than 500 feet from each other.
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