VILLA GROVE — Water rates here will increase over the next several years, helping the city pay for a new treatment plant.
Greg Gustafson of Berns, Clancy and Associates is working on a water rates survey to help the city determine the total revenue needed to cover water- and sewer-related expenditures. Those include construction of the water plant and other necessary upgrades to the system.
Once the final amount is determined, a schedule for four planned increases will be included in the city ordinance.
Looking at the preliminary city budget, Alderman Ron Hunt said he thought a rate hike was needed right away because the water department is already operating at a loss. The other three increases would happen during pre-construction and construction and once the project is completed.
The last time the city raised the water rates was May 2010.
Gustafson estimated that each increase would be more than 4 percent. He couldn't give a more accurate number until all factors are considered, including whether a grant application the city is working on is accepted.