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Boulder Hill water mains repair: $8 million

Updated: December 30, 2012 6:31AM

Village of Montgomery engineers have come up with a plan and cost estimates to repair water mains in the unincorporated area known as Boulder Hill.

Agitated residents were frequent visitors at village meetings over the summer. Many brought samples of orange colored water, pictures of their children whose hair changed colors and tales of having to travel to area fitness gyms to take a shower.

The plan that was laid out for trustees earlier this week puts the cost of fixing the water mains at just over $8 million.

Funding for the improvements could be obtained through EPA loans or conventional financing. Trustees have to determine how those loans will be paid back.

The average cost for the water is $46. The improvements will add $15 to $25 to each bill.

“I know people in that area have been suffering for years,” said trustee Matt Brolley. “I would gladly pay an extra $15 a month for water that I can drink.”

Mayor Marilyn Michelini said the village has put the issue off for too long and it is time to make tough decisions.

“I think we should proceed but we need to know how to do the funding,” said trustee Andy Kaczmarek

Engineers said studies showed that the frequency of water main breaks in Boulder Hill is high. Village Engineer Peter Wallers said while the village of Montgomery water mains average 12 to 15 breaks per 100 miles, the Boulder Hill area average 100 to 110 in the same area.

Also at the meeting, trustees turned down a request from Lamar Advertising to construct an electronic billboard at the northeast corner of Orchard and Aucutt Road. Attorney Steve Andersson told trustees they could create a new special use variance for the electronic billboard.

Other trustees said the planning commission needs to be involved in the final solution to the issue and it needs to go back to that group.

“My concern was there was insufficient time provided for public consideration — every resident that reached out to me over the weekend is opposed to it. The source of controversy here is the electronic part,” said trustee Stan Bond.

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