SYCAMORE – The Sycamore City Council told city staff to move forward with the next fiscal year’s budget in regard to water and sewer funding.
The council looked at what it can expect for revenue and expenditures for those budgets for fiscal 2020, which begins May 1, during the meeting Monday night at City Hall, 308 W. State St.
Fourth Ward Alderman Rick Kramer said everything looked great overall, especially with utility bill pricing decreasing slightly – which is impressive with water treatment fees in the city going up every year for the eight years he’s been in office. He said he’s happy with things in the water and sewer realm operating so well that the city can give something back to the residents.
“There are not a lot of cities that can do that,” Kramer said.
City Manager Brian Gregory said both funds were balanced as they were presented to the council Monday. He said residents will see a change in their utility bills from the current $6 a month to $6.75 a month to pay for treating the water for radium.
Gregory said residents also would see their sewer user fee rates decrease from the current $4.70 a 100 cubic feet to $4.54. He said that’s because the city will see a savings in the final phase of its wastewater treatment plant project, which originally was estimated to cost $25.3 million, but ended up costing $21.6 million.
“So what we’re proposing is that we pass that savings along to the residents on our rate structure,” Gregory said.
Gregory said there are no new positions that will be created for fiscal 2020. He said expenses would include bringing a well in the Electric Park subdivision back online after it exceeded the point where radium treatment was required and went offline, along with maintenance and repainting a water tower on the southeast side of town.
“That’s more expensive than you would think,” Gregory said.
Gregory said construction for both projects are slated to begin in summer 2020.
The water and sewer discussion came after talks about the city’s general funds Jan. 21. The next steps in fiscal 2020 budget talks for the city include the capital improvement plan and capital funds, which will be covered during the council meeting Feb. 18.
A public hearing for the full city budget and its first reading is scheduled for April 1. The scheduled second reading and adoption of the appropriation ordinance will be April 15.