Council Approves Knottingham Water Rate Increase, Talks Electrical Aggregation
Village Council also passed a resolution to issue $35 million in bonds for various projects.
The residents in the Knottingham Subdivision will see a rate change from $2.88 per 100 cubic feet to $4.13 per 100 cubic feet as of May 1. These residents receive water from Downers Grove that was purchased from Darien. Darien has increased their rates and now Downers Grove is altering their municipal code so Knottingham residents pay the same amount as other Downers Grove residents.
These rate increases will add approximately $37,350 to the Water Fund each year.
The village attorney’s salary is also going up—an increase of three percent for last year and three percent for this year was approved Tuesday night as well.
The council also passed a resolution to issue $35 million in bonds for street reconstruction, watermain replacement and other water system projects. Debt service payments will be made from tax revenues and revenue from water rates.
And the electrical aggregation process (purchasing electricity through a company other than ComEd in efforts to lower rates) is moving ahead as well.
The referendum on the March 20th ballot passed, and now the village is moving on to the next step of publishing a draft plan of governance, according to Downers Grove Management Analyst Allison Deitch.
After that, the village plans to hold two required public hearings on May 1 and May 15.
During the week of May 21 they hope to start the bid process and by June 12 they plan to award a contract for the purchase of electricity.
The opt-out process would take place during July and August of this year and the new electricity supplier contract would begin in August or September.
In other places, people have saved between 15 and 30 percent by going through this process, Deitch said.
There are two ways to go about finding a new electricity supplier. Either the village can join an aggregation group through an intergovernmental agreement, or the village can independently look for a supplier—and potentially form their own partnership.
The village staff recommendation to the council was that the village proceeds independently and look for partnership opportunities.
If the village is on its own it allows them to have a customized plan of governance, respond to resident feedback, control fees (or lack thereof) and other aspects of the contract.
“I think the consistent theme on this topic—from day one—has been options,” said Mayor Martin Tully, adding that all residents ultimately have the choice to opt out.
Commissioner William Waldack said he’d like more information as to who saved 15 percent and who saved 30 percent so the village can “copy the folks that got the 30.”
“This is a possible great benefit for everybody and it’s nothing like the power grabs that everyone talks about,” he said.
“I guess the theme at the end of the day is ‘options, options and more options,’” Tully said.