Waterloo City Council approves gas rate increase


To subsidize the relocation of gas lines near Route 3 for an upcoming road improvement project, the Waterloo City Council on Monday night approved a 56 cents per month increase in city gas rates.

In October 2011, the city lowered its gas rates about $1.80 per month per customer. This rate reduction came about after the city’s cash position in the gas department had improved substantially after years of paying for construction work.

Alderman Steve Notheisen stressed that the new rate increase is temporary, as the Route 3 gas line relocation project should be paid for within four years or less.

Regarding road widening and other improvements planned for Route 3 from North Market Street to Vandebrook Drive, public works director Tim Birk told the council during the Jan. 21 meeting that the Illinois Department of Transportation awarded a low bid for work from South Library to Vandebrook Drive to Illinois Excavators in the amount of $3.6 million.

He said it is his understanding that work on the relocation of Vandebrook Drive to connect with South Market Street could start as early as this spring.

Also on Jan. 21, the council amended a city ordinance relating to the jurisdiction of parks and enforcement of park regulations.

This was done so the city’s police department can enforce park rules and prosecute violators directly without first having to involve park district officials.

On Monday night, the council approved the appointment of Kevin Hicks to the Planning Commission for a term that runs until Sept. 1, 2015. He fills an opening created by the departure of Mike Muehlberg from the commission.

Also on Monday, the council approved a local agency agreement for federal participation between the city and IDOT for park-and-ride lot improvements in the amount of $15,000 (split 80 percent state, 20 percent city).

The council also approved a $2,500 expenditure on advertising in the Illinois Getaway Guide.

During his report, city building inspector Russ Row said Gordo’s Margaritas has passed recent code tests and should be open “fairly soon” inside the former Dairy Queen on South Market Street. Row added that construction is progressing rapidly on the new Dollar General store at the former Diehl Florist site.

The next regular meeting of the Waterloo City Council is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at City Hall.

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