ELBURN – The village took a step toward the upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant – a move that ultimately would cost millions of dollars and promises to significantly increase residents’ water bills, although that figure might change as the village grows.
Also at Monday’s Village Board meeting, Village President Dave Anderson said the village was filing a legal complaint against a massage parlor in town, on the grounds that it is not properly zoned for the area in which it sits on Route 38.
The massage parlor, which is just east of Route 47, has been open for months, but it has gone through recent changes, moving its focus from more of a nail salon to a massage business. Village attorney Bob Britz said both the property owner and the business owner would be named as defendants. He said the complaint would be filed this week.
“We’re asking the court for an order to cease and desist,” Britz said.
The talks on the wastewater treatment facility were part of an ongoing discussion with Sugar Grove-based Engineering Enterprises Inc. On Monday, trustees OK’d the engineering work required for the project. In April, the board talked of plans for the overall project that would add up to $7.65 million. Of that, the village has about $1.5 million available.
To pay for the remaining costs of more than $6 million, the village would need to secure loans, and to pay for those loans, the village would have to raise fees. The discussion in April suggested that could be as much as $40 a month for some customers, but officials stress that the cost could go down as the village grows, because there would be more residents to help pay down the fees.
Trustee Ken Anderson asked whether the payments could be adjusted if the village added a significant amount of new residents, as is expected when building can begin for the Elburn Station project – a development that potentially could double the population of the village. John Nevenhoven, the village’s superintendent of public works, said that could happen.
“If we added 500 households tomorrow, the amount of money we need to collect would be divided by 2,500 instead of 2,000 [households],” Nevenhoven said.
He said if there was a period of growth, the village could examine the fees twice a year instead of once a year.
Officials from EEI were in attendance, and the village has said the modernization of the plant is necessary and is not designed to increase capacity and is not necessary because of growth.
“It makes no difference whether we have zero growth or we quadruple the size of the village,” Dave Anderson said. “We have to do this.”
No costs would go up before May 2014, as the rates for the current year are in place, and there are no plans to change them. But if the plan ultimately is approved, fees could start going up, gradually, until the village would begin paying back the loans, possibly in 2015.