Quincy City Council approves $14.15 water rate increase, $5.5 million for City Hall repairs

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The City of Quincy's second water rate increase in 14 months will go toward fixing more outdated water and sewer lines. MRN FILE PHOTO

QUINCY — The Quincy City Council approved a water rate increase that will average more than $14 a month for residential users while also ending a discounted rate for not-for-profit users.

Aldermen voted 8-5 for the increase that will go toward $30 million in proposed improvements to the City of Quincy’s water system, such as floodproofing the water treatment plant and making other repairs that will be done along with replacing water and sewer pipes during as the Illinois Department of Transportation makes repairs to Broadway.

Voting for the increase were Aldermen Eric Entrup (R-1st Ward), Ken Hultz (R-3rd Ward), Kelly Mays (R-3rd Ward), Tony Sassen (R-4th Ward), Glenn Ebbing (R-5th Ward), Jake Reed (R-6th Ward), Ben Uzelac (D-7th Ward) and Jack Holtschlag (D-7th Ward). Opposing were Greg Fletcher (R-1st Ward), Jeff Bergman (R-2nd Ward), Dave Bauer (R-2nd Ward), Mike Rein (R-5th Ward) and Richie Reis (D-6th Ward).

Alderman Mike Farha (R-4th Ward) was absent.

Bergman, before casting his no vote, asked for and received from the Council an amendment to the increase that would call for the end to the cheaper water rates for the City’s non-profits, including Blessing Hospital, public and private schools and nursing homes. Director of Public Works Jeffery Conte said ending the approximately 33 percent discount would bring in an extra $100,000 annually.

Fletcher said he felt he was “being held hostage” if street repairs were not going to be done in his ward should the increase not pass. Conte reiterated that the streets could be fixed, but if the City wished to continue replacing the lead based water pipes and mains along with the streets, instead of fixing streets then tearing them up to replace the lines, more revenue was needed.

Federal mandates also call for the replacement of the lead water lines, starting in 2027.

The rate increase is the City’s second hike in 14 months. A $9 surcharge was added in December 2022.

Aldermen also voted to spend $5.5 million to replace the roof and HVAC system at City Hall, but rejected $2.2 million in renovations to the building’s second floor. Maas Construction had the low bid on the project.

The Council also heard the first reading for the South TIF Redevelopment Project. Five speakers called for aldermen to support the project and no one spoke in opposition.

Quincy Police Department Sgt. James Brown was also recognized for 25 years on the force.

In other action, aldermen approved:

  • A proposal from Air Specialists in the amount of $82,577 for nine 5-ton HVAC roof top units for Quincy Regional Airport.
  • The $1.7 million budget and $290,000 tax levy for Quincy Township.
  • Paying $49,264.96 to Klingner and Associates architectural and structural design services
  • of the Water Treatment Plant.
  • Paying $43,218 to Klingner and Associates for surveying services of manholes and inlets on
  • Broadway between 3rd and 54th Streets.
  • Paying $89,000 to Crawford, Murphy, and Tilly of Springfield for the Long Term Control Plan project plan renewal.
  • The low bid from Richards Electric Motor Co. in the amount of $888,000 for the Water Treatment Plant Pump Station Contract “A” project which includes the replacement of the electrical service and switchgear.
  • A quote from Midwest Meter, Inc., of Edinburg in the amount of $10,910 for the purchase of forty-eight cellular automatic meter readers and meter accessories.

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