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8 | January 25, 2018 | The glencoe anchor news glencoeanchor.com Glencoe Village Board Residents’ water, sewer bills to increase in 2018 Margaret Tazioli Freelance Reporter It looks like water and sewer bills are going to cost more this year in the Village of Glencoe. At its regular Jan. 18 meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to approve a quarterly water rate hike from $3.56 to $4.50 per 100 cubic feet. There will also be a quarterly fixed charge based on the size of the building or home’s water meter. “The fixed charge provides some revenue stability and the volumetric charge recognizes the benefit a customer may experience through conservation,” assistant city manager Sharon Tanner said. The quarterly sewer charge is going up 2.5 percent, from $1.002 to $1.027 per 100 cubic feet. For a low-level water user, around 1,500 cubic feet per quarter, the current quarterly rate is about $54. For that same user, the new rate will be about $68 for the volume of water used plus a $20 fixed charge, which would be about $88 total quarterly. That’s $34 more per quarter for low water usage. Last fall, after the Village conducted a water rate evaluation and determined the present rate is insufficient to fund the utility’s operations — let alone pay for the rehabilitation and eventual replacement of the Water Treatment Plant. “We learned through the rate analysis that the rate as it is today cannot fully fund all of our operation costs and infrastructure needs,” Tanner said. “Increased costs the utility has experienced have been greater than increases in its revenue through the rate.” Tanner projected that with the rate hike, the water fund’s revenue will be around $2.8 million this year — a 35 percent increase from last year. In a budget with nearly $23 million in projected revenue and $25 million in projected expenditures, the water rate revenue falls under the Village’s charges for service, which makes up 17 percent of total revenue. Please see village, 10 Fiscal year 2019 budget gets approval Submitted by Village of Glencoe Following a discussion of the Preliminary Fiscal Year 2019 Budget at the Dec. 19 Finance Committee meeting, a formal presentation of the recommended Fiscal Year 2019 Budget (March 1, 2018-February 28, 2019) was made by Village staff at the Jan. 18 Village Board meeting. Following discussion, trustees unanimously voted to approve the budget as proposed. “The budget really is the single most important policy document that the Village Board reviews and approves each year,” Village Manager Philip Kiraly said. “The projects and programs we have planned for the coming year underscore the Village’s long-standing commitment to providing excellent services with a great emphasis on effective and efficient delivery of those services. It also provides resources to fund necessary infrastructure improvements and front-line equipment planned in the Village’s Community Improvement Program (CIP).” The approved Fiscal Year 2019 Budget includes $25,018,611 in expenditures across all funds and departments. A budget-to-budget comparison from projected Fiscal Year 2018 expenditures to those planned in Fiscal Year 2019 includes a decrease in operating expenditures of approximately $551,000 and an overall 17.8 percent decrease in total expenditures. Significant long-and short-term savings are related to three major outsourcing efforts that took place this year: residential garbage collection, building permit plan review and inspection services, as well as 911 emergency dispatching, the latter in response to State mandate. Other highlights from the Adopted Fiscal Year 2019 Budget can be viewed online at www.villageofglencoe.org. The budget process begins in late spring of each year and involves Village staff working closely with the Finance Committee to review capital and infrastructure needs, circulate and evaluate a fee survey, develop a long-range revenue and expense projections and create a tax levy structure for the coming year. This year’s budget development process also included conducting a comprehensive Water Rate Analysis, from which the recommendation to change the Village’s water rate structure was made. Glencoe committee of the Whole In early stages, Tudor Court redesign projected at $1M Board requests more concrete cost estimates Margaret Tazioli Freelance Reporter In the latest conversation about improving Tudor Court — the street between Writer’s Theatre and art galleries in downtown Glencoe — Village trustees reviewed the project’s progress and asked the city manager to keep working on it. At the Jan. 18 Committee of the Whole meeting, Teska associates, an Evanston-based urban planning firm, presented its latest designs to the Board of Trustees. The updated design included feedback from the public and some rough cost estimates. Based upon the initial rough estimate, the project is looking to cost around $1 million — possibly more. Trustees discussed the initial cost estimates and decided they needed firmer estimates and a better understanding of the Village’s budget and priorities before anything more could be decided. “The board has to get comfortable being able to think ‘Yes, we can justify that kind of investment,’” Village Manager Philip Kiraly said. “And one of the question marks you don’t have an answer to yet is the cost of the component pieces of it. This is an aerial look; we haven’t asked Teska to generate what these things might look like. We haven’t gotten into a design element yet.” With the board’s blessing, Teska associates will now draw up a more detailed list of cost estimates and some more concrete plans with input from the park district. At minimum, the plans would leave the existing roadway intact — apart from resurfacing — and just add some new site features, like benches and arches. At most, Glencoe Drive could be terminated and replaced with a small park and Tudor Court could be reconstructed as a street/plaza. One of the primary goals for the space is to be a comfortable and safe environment for pedestrians, as well as a gathering space that is celebratory of arts and culture without sacrificing any of the present parking. One of the primary concerns merchants raised was about parking. “The hard part about parking is there’s never enough where you want it when you want it,” Kiraly said. “The message that rang pretty loud and clear throughout all of the public meetings is that every parking space is valuable. In what was put together here, the idea of doing as little harm as possible is what drove us toward this concept.” The board seemed interested but hesitant to get too excited without seeing some more concrete cost estimates. City manager Kiraly will be working with Teska to get some of these questions answered in coming months.
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