Sewer Bills Increase After East Peoria Council Vote

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Sewer bills are going up for people in East Peoria.

City council unanimously approved a rate increase at a regular meeting Tuesday night. The average homeowner will see a $3 increase per month, and people who use more wastewater could pay up to $8 extra per month.

The rate increase will happen over the next five years and is needed to update the city’s wastewater treatment plant, which was built in the 1930s. The money will also help keep the plant EPA compliant into the future.

Engineers from an outside firm say it’s not uncommon for a town to make a move like this, using Pekin as an example of raising the rate to pay for repairs and mandates.

Leaders say nobody wanted to vote for the increase but updates are needed.

“If we don’t do something we will soon be mandated by the EPA and that mandate will be at least what is stated today, but probably much more harsh than what we are looking at today,” said commissioner, Dan Decker.

Others leaders were vocal about the rate increase during the meeting. Commissioner John Kahl said the city waited too long to start the project, and it should have been done a long time ago.   

“You know, this stuff probably needed done 20 years ago, so  it doesn’t take away from the fact that it needs to be done, and the longer we put it off, the worse it’s going to be and the more costly,” Kahl said.  

Council also approved an agreement with Midwest Engineering Associates Tuesday night to draw up plans to demolish seven homes affected by a landslide in 2013.

The council says it’s important to keep that project with a local company.

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