East Peoria council addresses sewer rate hikes; Mayor says pandemic may be the problem

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Community members in East Peoria are upset about what they call an outrageous hike to their sewer and water  rates.

Three years ago, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency ordered the city to upgrade its aging water treatment plants. To do that, the city had to get a loan, and to pay it back, increased sewer rates starting in 2017 and continuing through 2021.

Even though homeowners saw less of a cost bump this year, the mayor says, the upcharge might be more noticeable because people have been stuck at home through the pandemic.

“My water usage went up 6,000 gallons, so I saw nearly $115 increase, but when I went back and looked at that everything it made sense,” said Mayor John Kahl. “People open their pools, so they fill them to the top, and they top them off every couple of days. Our kids have been home since March. Everybody is home.”

He’s urging people who are still upset, to call the water customer service representative, who can walk you through why your bill may be higher than expected.

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