Boulder Hill residents concerned about higher bills from water main work
By Judy Pochel For The Beacon-News February 22, 2013 11:08AM
Pete Wallers, engineer for the Boulder Hill water improvement project, discusses the work with residents at a forum at Boulder Hill Elementary School. | Judy Pochel~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 25, 2013 6:38AM
Over 50 residents of Boulder Hill got the meeting they had requested, seeking answers to questions regarding water main replacement plans in the area. Not all of them liked the answers.
Residents in parts of Boulder Hill, in unincorporated Kendall County, have purchased their water from the village of Montgomery for nearly six decades.
“My water is OK but it costs twice as much. I think all that money went into the village and we get the cruddy end,” said Sue Shedro, one of the residents who attended the open house at Boulder Hill Elementary School.
Neighbor Nina Heermann echoed her sentiments and questioned what will happen once they are done paying the extra rates proposed for the water main work.
“I want to know how much money and for how long,” said Pat Butler.
He said at some point an agreement had to be signed by the village to provide water to the area and he wanted to see that document.
Pete Wallers, the engineer on the project, said to his knowledge, no such document exists.
The water main problem has existed for years, but the last straw came late last year when several residents reported rust in their water had turned everything from hair to clothes orange. At the same time the public works department had to change lines to the area to complete a renovation project to the water treatment facility. That change caused rust sediments from the cast iron pipes to fall into the water.
Montgomery Mayor Marilyn Michelini talked with several residents at the open house, and recalled that she had to pay for infrastructure improvements, including water, for the first two decades she lived at her home in Montgomery.
“The people in Boulder Hill don’t want to be incorporated, but they have to have water. It has to be done and they have to pay for it,” said Michelini.
Wallers said the higher rates for residents would begin when the village begins repaying the loans used to pay for the $8.2 million project. The project would involve replacing about 18,200 fee of water mains.
Under current plans, the village wants to obtain two loans to get the project started. Wallers said the village is proposing a conventional loan with an interest rate of just over 2 percent. At the same time, the village will apply for a low interest Illinois Environment Protection Agency loan at just under 2 percent. The reason for the two funding sources is that the time required for the EPA loan is longer and public works employees want to get the project started as soon as possible.
Wallers told residents that under one of those plans, they would pay an additional water rate of $15 monthly, for some 20 years. Residents say they have been paying extra since they moved to the area and questioned officials as to what has happened to that money.