Hillcrest board: Water main project update presented
Solar fee structure ordinance discussed
HILLCREST — At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Hillcrest Village Board heard an update from Baxter & Woodman on water and street projects.
The majority of the update involved the village’s priority 1A water main project that trustees unanimously approved an engineering agreement for in December. In November, the board voted unanimously to approve a $2.54 million loan application to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the project.
Baxter & Woodman representatives said Wednesday that due to rises in construction costs in the market, the project’s loan amount is now slated to be just shy of $2.7 million.
Baxter & Woodman is aiming for $1.25 million in principal forgiveness on the loan. The village would have to pay back the remainder of the project at an interest rate of .93 percent. Hillcrest recently raised its service fees each month from $5 to $10 for the application and that and the work will require a future increase in water rates.
The first 1,000 gallons used would go from $4.41 per gallon to $5.70 per gallon in 2023 and $6.98 in 2024. A Baxter & Woodman representative said last year that the average water bill would need to go from $31 per month to $38 in 2023 and $45 in 2024.
It was noted Wednesday that Baxter & Woodman is still waiting to hear if the village will be receiving bypass funding for the project from the IEPA and that’s anticipated to be known by late February.
If that occurs, the IEPA would authorize bidding the project within a week or two of receipt. Bids would open late April and the project could be awarded in May and construction could begin in July or August and be complete by December 2023.
On a separate note, work is ongoing on a new national requirement that requires the village to have to take inventory of what material makes up water service lines to each home and business in Hillcrest to determine if there are lead service lines.
Lead use in water service lines was banned in 1988. Most village homes were built in the 1950s. The Windover Park subdivision was built in 1992 and that time of build will make those homes exempt from inspection for lead lines. Hillcrest has 405 homes and 450 buildings total.
The village's lead service lines report is due to the state on April 15. The final deadline is April 15, 2024. If lead service lines are found, replacement will be required in the future and there are some grants currently available for that work. Baxter & Woodman representatives said Wednesday that they’re able to help the village with the project in coming months.
The board resolved to have a first reading of a fee structure on commercial and residential solar permits in the village at its February meeting and instructed Village Attorney Paul Chadwick to draft an ordinance for that meeting.
In December, Village Building Inspector Casper Manheim presented the village with information on fee structures used by other municipalities in the region. A fee structure would allow the village to charge permit fees for residents that install solar along with a large commercial solar development planned for the future within village limits.
After unanimously approving a resolution for its 2023 sealcoating program at last month's meeting, it was mentioned Wednesday that Scott Avenue, River Road and Ramona Avenue will be chip sealed this year. The village chip seals one ffth of the streets in Hillcrest each year.
The board voted unanimously to purchase three fire hydrants and valves from Elliott & Wood, Inc. for a total of $9,000. The hydrants are slightly used and are half the price of new hydrants. The village is currently in need of two hydrants.
Village Trustee Dan Potter said Hillcrest's water tower was recently looked at by a repair company and he expects a report in the next week on what maintenance is needed.
"I don't know what we're going to need to have done, but I do know some things are going to need to be done,” Potter said. “There's quite a few issues."