Hillcrest Village Board: Priority 1A Water Main project out for bid
Fiscal year 2024 tax levy approved
HILLCREST — At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the Village of Hillcrest Board of Trustees heard an update from Village Engineer Kaitlin Wright of Baxter & Woodman on its Priority 1A Water Main project.
The project plans to replace mains along the full length of Scott Avenue, parts of Errett Road and Erickson Road from Scott Avenue to Jeffrey Avenue, and parts of Jeffrey Avenue from Errett Road to Erickson Road. Those streets are in the southern and oldest part of the village. Water mains will be sized at 12 inches. Hillcrest plans to award the bid for the project at its January meeting and there are currently five potential bidders interested. The project's price currently stands at $2.4 million.
A pay item has been added to the project in case lead lines are found, which are required by the state to be replaced during projects if found. That raised the project price from $2.3 million.
Hillcrest is eligible for a $2.68 million IEPA loan for the project and 50 percent loan forgiveness up to $1.25 million on the loan.
"If it is $2.68 million that is taken out underneath the loan program, with that principal forgiveness, you would have a loan amount of roughly $1.3 million," Wright said. "Which would end up being an annual debt service of roughly $87,000 over 20 years."
The village may use $166,704 in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for the Priority 1A Water Main project.
The work could be completed by fall of 2024. The project has been on the village's radar for a number of years. A greater water main replacement project was considered in the past, but was trimmed down to the areas of greatest need.
The board unanimously approved Hillcrest's fiscal year 2024 tax levy, which stands at $62,967. The increase is less than five percent from last year, which did not require the village to hold a truth in taxation hearing.
The board plans to vote on proposed changes to its water ordinances next month, Village Water Trustee Dan Potter said. Water ordinances have not been updated in 10 years.
Proposed changes could include water fees for any resident that has been disconnected due to nonpayment being $25 to disconnect and $75 to reconnect plus a $100 deposit to reinstate service, check payments not being accepted for service reinstatement, raising insufficient check fees from $15 to $35, payment arrangements being limited to one per 12-month period, and disconnection notices being sent after a 30-day delinquency rather than the current 60 days.
"We've been running into some issues with people paying their bills and disconnections and what not," Potter said.
Wright said the village is likely to receive a grant that could yield up to $30,000 to help it pay for a state-required lead service line inventory.
There is an April 15, 2024 submission deadline for Hillcrest to provide an inventory to the state on how many lead water service lines it has running into homes, if any. If the grant is received, Baxter & Woodman would perform the inventory work for the village.
"My understanding is that so long as all the paperwork checks out, the village should have those funds secured to it," Wright said.
The board voted unanimously to ratify a new contract with Leaf River Communication involving the internet company's antenna that it places on top of Hillcrest's water tower. The compensation for the antenna placement was previously $50 per month and will now be $300. The contract is the same language as the previous one, is for a five-year term, and will not allow Hillcrest to place any other antennas on top of the tower.
Village President Rick Rhoads said Hillcrest is currently looking at pricing for new camera equipment for Village Hall following an incident last month with a resident that was upset over a water bill issue that required a response from the Ogle County Sheriff's Office. Upgraded cameras would record sound, Rhoads said.