BY LEN WELLS

Norris City has received a low interest loan from the Illinois EPA to fund phase three of a major water system upgrade. While that's great news, one condition of the loan is that water rates must be raised enough to cover the debt.  To comply with the requirement, board members voted last Tuesday evening to raise water rates by 65 cents per thousand gallons of usage. The rate increase will not go into effect until January of 2022.  

Less than a year ago, the Norris City Board voted to raise water rates $1 across the board to finance parts of the water system renovation project.  Passed in August of last year, the $1 rate increase went into effect January 1 of this year and was the first time the town raised its water rates in over 30 years.

The new rate will amount to $11.20 for the first 2,000 gallons of usage and $5.60 for each additional 1,000 gallons. Since Norris City sells bulk water to a number of surrounding communities, water supply contracts with the villages of Dale and Broughton may have to be updated to reflect the new rate. The EPA loan will be paid back at a rate of $28,000 per year for 20 years with a 1% interest rate. As a formality, the board officially approved the contract with Wiggs Excavating to complete the Phase III water project at a cost of $707,512.50.

Heath and Danielle Short, the owners of La-D-Da Boutique in downtown Norris City addressed the board seeking TIF funding to make repairs to their building. Mr. Short asked for help in replacing the roof on their building, ceiling repairs and termite treatment.  Short said Craddock Pest Control could treat the building for termites at a cost of $1,300, a new roof from Tri-Co Roofing would cost $9,800 and ceiling repairs from Naas Construction would cost $7,282 for a total project cost of $18,382. Per board protocol, no action will be taken on the request until...

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