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Sherman trustees asked to hike water, sewer rates

May 12, 2016
By David Prenatt ( , Westfield Republican

Sherman Village Board of Trustees were asked at their regular meeting on May 4 to consider raising water and sewer rates by 50 cents per 100 cubic gallons each.

Jay Irwin, chief operator of the Sherman wastewater plant, asked the board to reconsider a planned rate increase of only 2 cents for each department. He noted that there are several projects planned for the sewer department, but the current budget does not provide funds for them.

"I don't have a reserve to work with at all," Irwin said. "I'm just looking at this from a budget standpoint and I can't do anything."

Irwin said his calculations show that a 50 cents increase would cover the costs of all the projects. He said he felt that it would not be necessary to raise rates again for at least five years.

Irwin said that raising the water and sewer rates by 50 cents each would result in an average increase of $4.18 per household. He noted that the actual cost wold vary based on usage and the fact that some residents receive water service but not sewer.

Sherman Village Clerk Ann Gilbert noted that a rate increase in water and sewer would not affect taxes. "It's a totally different fund," she said.

Gilbert said that the rate change would require an amendment to the budget. The current budget calls for 2 cents increase in each department.

The board agreed to have a public hearing on this matter on June 1 just prior to the regular meeting. Gilbert said she would post the announcement immediately.

In another matter, Irwin said he would soon have solid figures concerning the possibility of erecting wind turbines on village property. The turbines would be owned by Northern Power Inc., which would erect and maintain them and lease the land from the village, he said. In return, much of the village's electricity would be supplied by the turbines.

Sherman department of public works Supervisor Doug Crane reported to the board that most of the water meters that needed service have been repaired. He urged the board to move ahead with a plan to begin replacing the village's meters beginning with the outskirts of the village.

Crane also told the board that work has begun on the sidewalks on Church Street. Once that project is completed, the department will begin work on East Street sidewalks, he said.

Trustee Donna Higginbothom said that she knew several people whose quarterly sewer and water bills fluctuated greatly at times, sometimes as high at $100.

Crane said he would have to look at the issue on a house-by-house basis,

"If someone is paying for water that they are not using, we need to correct that," he said.



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