Water rates rise in LaFayette

Survey due May 1, 2018

By John A. Ballentine
[email protected]

Water rates are on the increase again for LaFayette residents. Eighty-five households will see a $5 rise in their water rate beginning June 1 equaling a $425 profit for the village.

The rate was raised twice last year at $5 each time. According to Trustee Bethany Peterson, “If we’re going to be able to keep up with all of our water tower and all of our water maintenance, I feel that we have to raise it.”

Village President Greg Bartley stated, “We have to keep in mind the IEPA [Illinois Environmental Protection Agency] was very clear about this, that we must maintain and run our water tower as a business. We have to show them that we’re trying to raise the prices. What it really boils down to is they wanted to see us profit.

“If we don’t show a profit, they will deny us any kind of EPA loan.”

The water increases pay for upgrades to the water system. Three years ago a new water tower was installed. Recently electronic controls were installed. Some of the Village’s hydrants have been refurbished. In addition, if there is a water main break, the village is sectioned off in quadrants, so the entire village is not without water.

All six trustees voted to raise the water rate, again.

Park equipment update shows 39 grant requests are to be sent out. Chairman Peterson said, “I have a list of 13 more to be filled out and sent. We are also going to compose a letter to local businesses to see if they will donate.”

A survey letter has been sent out to local residents with the last water billing statement. It asks about the resident’s water system in their home. Village Treasurer Lorrie Woith explained, “We have received 32 out of 80-plus surveys, so we have to have these returned by May 1. If we don’t receive them soon, we will go door-to-door and ask the questions.”

Residents must have a special valve on their boiler system, if they utilize that type of heat. The valve prevents the boiler water from contaminating the village’s water system. This is a requirement of the IEPA, as is the letter survey.

Residents who do not comply, will have their water cutoff by the IEPA. Therefore, village representatives will be going door-to-door for the compliance of households from April 25 to May 1.

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