Riverside plans major water and sewer infrastructure project

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With the extreme rains and accompanying basement flooding becoming more frequent, Riverside’s trustees plan to gradually increase its bi-monthly water and sewer infrastructure costs over the next several years while still issuing up to $ 11 million in bonds to finance a water main. the storm sewer replacement and separation project will be completed within the next decade.

The plan also includes replacing all of the village’s water meters, a roughly $ 1 million project that the village hopes to complete between 2021 and 2023.

The bond issue would not need voter approval by referendum as it would be alternative tax bonds, funded by fees paid by Riverside Water clients on their bi-monthly bills.

Officials laid out a plan for two bond issues, one in 2025 for $ 5 million and one for $ 6 million in 2031, both of which were withdrawn 10 years from the date of issue.

However, the current $ 30 water supply and sewer infrastructure fee paid by water customers who have helped fund past projects, such as the separation of the First Division storm sewers, will not be enough. not have to pay the full debt service for work the trustees would like to see completed. over the next decade.

At their July 15 meeting, Riverside trustees expressed support for a more aggressive approach that would result in a bi-monthly infrastructure fee increase of $ 30 over time, eventually reaching around $ 45 by 2031. when the second series of bonds is issued.

“I favor the incremental approach [to raising the infrastructure fee]Aberdeen administrator Marsh-Ozga said. “I really think if we’re going to address some of the concerns our residents have about their flooding, it’s important to prioritize these projects. “

In addition to steadily increasing water and sewer charges to account for increases passed on to the village by their water supplier, the Village of McCook, officials may include two other water main replacement projects and a major storm sewer separation project along Longcommon Road. , which were not included in another plan that would have resulted in the issuance of bonds of just $ 5 million in 2025 and no increase in infrastructure costs.

Part of the Longcommon Road storm sewer separation project would include the construction of a stormwater retention vault that would temporarily store stormwater runoff and slowly release it into the main sewer line to reduce pressure on the system. during major rainy events.

In a comprehensive study of the village’s sewer system in 2014, the plan called for this vault to be located under the Longcommon / Downing / Evelyn triangle. However, the village could choose to build a larger arch, if administrators so wished, under Big Ball Park, which would result in that park being taken offline for recreation programming for a year.

“I think the comments I have received are ‘do something about the flooding’,” said administrator Edward Hannon. “If they have to take Big Ball Park out for a year to create this vault in order to alleviate this problem permanently, I think a lot of people would understand why Little League has moved to another area.”

A timeline provided to directors at their July 15 meeting indicated that the most important construction phases would take place in 2025 and 2030, with smaller projects in 2023, 2026, 2028 and 2031.

The reason to wait until 2025 to start the first major project – a $ 5.8 million plan – is that the village wants to keep debt service levels roughly where they are now, according to the village. CFO Karin Johns.

Village president Joseph Ballerine also suggested that the village draft and pass an ordinance requiring downspouts to be disconnected from the combined sewer system and encouraging homeowners to initiate their own stormwater retention projects, such as replacing impermeable surfaces with permeable ones, etc.

He suggested that the village might be able to waive permit fees for such projects.

“I think we should be encouraging people to do it,” Ballerina said. “So this is something we need to discuss at a later date.”

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