EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Changes are coming down the pipe for some East Peoria homeowners.
During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with a nearly half a million dollar water project.
City leaders approved an agreement to transfer 87 property owners’ water service from Valley View Knolls Water Company, an independent water company, to the city’s own water service. These homeowners mainly live in the Avondale Drive and East Oakwood Road area.
Ty Livingston, the city’s planning and community development director, said the reason for the transition is because the current infrastructure is aging. Commissioner Michael Sutherland said this project was a long time coming.
“This is one of the projects, and another one off Highview Road, that needs to be taken care of because the age, the materials that it’s made from, the size of the pipe doesn’t meet any kind of fire code for any kind of fire equipment probably ever,” Sutherland said.
Livingston said with the transition, these residents can expect new meters at each property, a new water main, and new fire hydrants.
“The key here is that they’re going to get a better quality of water, better water pressure, as I understand some residents currently have to treat for iron, another sediment that when they transition over to city water they won’t have to do any longer,” Livingston said. “So overall it’s just a better improvement for the residents that live there.”
He said instead of paying a current flat water rate, they’ll pay for what they use and it will go along with their sewer bill.
However, he said these property owners will also contribute to the funding for the new infrastructure.
In order to pay for the project, city leaders also voted to start the process of creating a Special Service Area for the 87 participating residents.
Livingston said they’ll have the option to pay at once or pay roughly $500 a month over a 10-year period that will be added to their property tax bill starting next year.
“It’s not a separate bill that’s being sent out, there won’t be surprises,” Livingston said. “We’ll see when the final numbers come out, but the goal is under $500 or less a year.”
He said the city held a public meeting in January on this topic and has been transparent with the residents during the entire process.
“The support for this has been really strong,” Livingston said. “It’s a real positive, I think, for the neighborhood.”
He also said before the Special Service Area is created there will be a public hearing Tuesday, July 20 at 6 p.m at city hall on the matter.