Lake Michigan Water Update
March 27, 2013
Village staff and elected officials are continuing their work to bring Lake Michigan water to residents and businesses in Wauconda. While a final decision has not yet been made on a source for the water, representatives from the Village, and those from our partner agency, the Village of Volo, recently met with the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency (CLCJAWA) Board to discuss a possible collaboration between the groups. The three groups continue to meet to discuss topics such as intergovernmental agreements, the preferred structure of a potential new organization that includes both Villages, and the rights and responsibilities of all parties. The groups will meet again in the near future to further discuss and refine these details, with the goal of making a final decision on a water source in the coming weeks.
Once a water source is determined, staff will conduct a detailed route study to plan exactly where the transmission mains will be placed for both Wauconda and Volo. To complete the study, engineering staff will conduct field reconnaissance to identify and evaluate preferred and possible alternate routes. During this phase of the project, meetings will be held with all key agencies and entities that may be involved in the project, including property owners, utility companies, and County and State representatives to discuss the benefits and challenges of each individual parcel along the route. To date, a number of potential routes have been identified and meetings regarding ownership, easements, and rights-of-way along these routes are in progress.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Loan Program
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has made a low interest loan program available to government agencies for public water and wastewater projects. The Village investigated taking advantage of this program as a way to finance the significant internal system improvements that will be required to convert our existing well water system to a Lake Michigan Water supply system. However, it was determined that the IEPA interest rates were not meaningfully lower than existing options. Furthermore, the lengthy and extensive application process required by the program would have added approximately one year to the project, which could markedly increase final constructions costs. Therefore, this program is no longer being considered as a financing option. This IEPA program does offer very low interest rates, so the Village is now working on an application to request financing for another upcoming critical project, that of the rehabilitation/replacement of the trickle filters at the wastewater treatment plant which have now exceeded their expected useful life.
The Village is committed to providing the community with regular updates about this critical project, and will share future progress reports through electronic newsletters and website postings.