Fairbury City Council adopts ordinance to raise city water rates, improve city water system

FAIRBURY – The Fairbury City Council adopted Ordinance No. 3083 Tuesday, which will increase water rates throughout the city.

City administrator Collin Biesler says this ordinance has been more than two years in the making.

For a number of years, the Little Blue Public Water Project (LBPWP), which is part of the Little Blue NRD, has requested an additional allotment of water than what’s currently allowed under their contract, which expires in 2023.

The ordinance, which increases water rates in Fairbury, will help create revenue so that the city can improve its water distribution system to meet LBPWP’s request. There were also concerns about Fairbury’s existing water infrastructure.

In the fall of 2017, a study was completed and it was then determined that about three miles of existing, parallel 12-inch transmission mains from Crystal Springs to the city should be replaced.

One pipe is 80 years old, while another is close to 100. Biesler said about 80 percent of the city’s water comes from Crystal Springs.

In addition, there are planned improvements to the city’s water tower and chemical feed modifications at the east wells and underground reservoir.

At a council meeting in Nov. 2018, mayor Homer Ward signed an agreement with Olsson to perform engineering and construction services.

Surveying, boring samples and preliminary alignment for the new mains have been completed. The current estimated cost of the project is about $3.7 million.

“We anticipate funding from the state to help us pay for this through a low-interest loan,” Bielser said. “One of the biggest components to the water system improvements is the replacement of the transmission lines.”

According to the study, which was funded through a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality in 2016, found that with the adoption of Ordinance No. 3083, monthly water rates in Fairbury will go up as follows:

Residential: Current (27.51) – Proposed (27.79) +0.28

General Service In-City: Current (41.15) – Proposed (55.42) +14.27

General Service In-City (no sewer): Current (100.84) – Proposed (143.00) +42.16

Residential Out of City: Current (38.46) – Proposed (48.85) +10.39

General Service Out of City: Current (88.97) – Proposed (135.00) +46.03

Contract (LBPWP): Current (8,526.87) – Proposed (14,840) +6313.13

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