Waterloo ups water rates

The City of Waterloo is raising the price of water service for residents as a result of a rate increase imposed by its provider.

At the Feb. 6 meeting of the Waterloo City Council, aldermen approved an ordinance amendment with adjusted water rates effective immediately.

Per the amendment, the cost in city limits for the first 1,000 gallons or less of water is $13.25. For the next 9,000 gallons, the price is $13.56 per 1,000 gallons. For the next 10,000 gallons, it is $12.81 per 1,000 gallons. For the next 30,000 gallons, the price is $12.63 per 1,000 gallons. The cost for over 50,000 gallons of water is $12.29 per 1,000 gallons.

Outside of city limits, the price is $18.34 for the first 1,000 gallons, $18.79 per 1,000 gallons for the next 9,000 gallons and $17.68 per 1,000 gallons for the next 10,000 gallons.

The tank water rate is a flat rate of 25 cents per 13 gallons.

Waterloo budget officer Shawn Kennedy said the increase in city water rates is a result of an increase that was approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission for Illinois American Water.  

Waterloo currently purchases its water from Illinois American Water.  

“Based on the information provided by Illinois American Water, the city will receive a 28 percent increase in our cost of water,” Kennedy said.

Waterloo will not be with Illinois American Water much longer. The city announced plans in February 2019 to build its own water treatment facility and leave Illinois American Water at the end of an existing contract that expires in October 2024.

The more than $30 million facility near Valmeyer with plans to use the Mississippi Aquaphor just north of Valmeyer as its water source.

Once completed, Waterloo’s new plant will be able to accommodate 3.5 million gallons of water per day. Presently, Waterloo uses about one million gallons per day.

As part of this new project, the city is also building a new water tower on the Waterloo VFW property.

The new tower will have a storage capacity of 500,000 gallons of water. 

The existing tower next to Waterloo City Hall has a capacity of 250,000 gallons. 

In other action from the Feb. 6 meeting, the council approved professional services agreements with HMG Engineers for the city’s 2023 overlay project and downtown resurfacing project.

The overlay project involves the mill and overlay of South Main Street, East Fourth Street, Wedgewood Drive, Parkwood Drive, Elmwood Street and Brookshire Court in addition to sidewalk ramps for ADA crossings at East Fourth Street, Morrison Avenue, South Main Street and West Fourth Street.

Construction on this project will take place this summer. 

The downtown resurfacing project involves the mill and overlay of First, Mill, Third, Church and Main streets, with construction also taking place this summer.

The council also approved the authorization of payments for the Moore Street/Columbia Avenue road project.

Per the contract with DMS Construction, total cost of this project is $2,266,806.12, with federal funds covering $884,000, a city match from Rebuild Illinois totaling $716,639.40 and other funds adding up to $666,166.72.

This project involved the construction of a box culvert trunkline, multiple storm sewers, a retaining wall and ditch, new curbing and hot-mix asphalt pavements, plus a concrete intersection. 

Lastly, the council OK’d the purchase of a 2023 Ford Explorer in the amount of $47,808.26 from Sunset Ford for the city’s utility department.

Queen of Hearts

During an ordinance committee meeting held last week, revisions to the city’s existing rules for future Queen of Hearts raffles were recommended for full council approval.

Per the amended ordinance, the aggregate retail value of all prizes or merchandise awarded by a licensee in a single raffle would be $2.2 million, including weekly attendance prizes, with the maximum retail value of each prize awarded by a licensee in a single raffle being $2.15 million.

The previous jackpot limit as set by city ordinance in 2017 was $2 million. 

A change in the maximum length of time during which chances may be sold for Queen of Hearts raffles to 65 weeks was also recommended. 

Also recommended by the committee were the additions in city code that  the Queen of Hearts raffle operator shall make an estimated judgement as to when the prize will reach or exceed $2 million, after which operator shall announce one week in advance their intention to draw until the prize is awarded.

In the event the retail value exceeds $2 million, as per revised proposed city ordinance, the Queen of Hearts raffle operator shall award the total prize amount. 

This amended ordinance may come to a full council vote at the Feb. 20 meeting.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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