Quincy City Council to consider second utility increase in 15 months

Water Treatment Plant

The City of Quincy is looking at a water rate increase to pay for upgrades to its treatment plant. - MRN FILE PHOTO

QUINCY — In order to pay for $30 million in improvements to the City of Quincy’s water system, the City Council will be deciding how to pass the cost onto consumers.

At the Finance Committee meeting before Monday night’s City Council meeting, the committee unanimously moved a proposal to increase water rates to full council. The average monthly cost to the consumer will be more than $14, should the proposal pass.

In December 2022, Quincy Mayor Mike Troup broke a 7-7 tie to add a $9 surcharge to utility bills. A minimal residential user with a five-eighths-inch regular meter saw a 56.9 percent increase in their monthly bill from $15.79 to $24.79. The average family with a five-eighths inch meter saw their bill increase from $40.49 to $49.49 — a 22.2 percent increase.

Finance Committee Chairman Mike Rein said the overall $30 million project, which includes floodproofing the water treatment plant and making other repairs that will be done in concert with replacing water and sewer pipes during the state’s upcoming repairs to Broadway, “has to be done” and the increase will be based on customers water usage as opposed to an across the board tax increase.

The city has an $8.5 million loan from the Illinois EPA to move the water treatment plant above the flood wall and will have to issue bonds for the remaining $20 million on the project.

During the City Council meeting, representatives from Solar Simplified made a pitch to provide solar power to low income residents who qualify through LIHEAP or other government assistance programs.

The Chicago-based company said they can reduce utility bills by using solar power credits, which are backed by the State of Illinois. Solar farms feed into the power grid and qualified residents can subscribe to the service at no cost.

The power generated by solar and used by the consumer would show up as a discount on their Ameren bill as Ameren will still be the primary power provider.

Aldermen approved hiring a new law firm to handle upcoming labor negotiations with Firefighters Local 63, as well as Machinists and Transit workers. Hasselberg, Grebe, Snodgrass, Urban & Wentworth of Peoria will replace Ancel Glink of Chicago at the bargaining table for the City.

Alderman also approved:

  • A $48,000 contract with Architechnics for engineering a vehicle storage facility at Central Services.
  • A two-year $36,289 contract with Eurofins Environmental Testing of Savannah, Ga., to test groundwater under the city’s old landfill.

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