Sidney water-rate increase up for approval

SIDNEY — Village officials next month will decide whether to approve a resolution increasing Sidney's water rates by 4 percent.

The village board's water committee recommended the rate increase following a special meeting last week. The resolution might include a policy making the 4 percent increase annual except for years in which supplier Illinois American Water raises its rates.

Supervisor of Operations Earl Bennett said that while the village currently has a $14,000 surplus in its water account, more money is needed to help cover the cost of water system repairs. Bennett noted that last year a water main repair project on David Street under the Norfolk & Southern railroad tracks cost the village about $75,000. The village water tower also needs to be painted, and a water main replacement project will cost an estimated $50,000, Bennett added.

"I can do two or three projects, and that $14,000 is gone," Bennett said, explaining that the parts alone for repairing three water leaks can cost $13,000.

Prior to October 2008, the village had absorbed all rate increases from Illinois American since 1989.

"It seems like every three or four years we're seeing an increase," Trustee Mark Catron said.

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