Fisher board sets special meeting to discuss sale of village systems

FISHER -- The Fisher Village Board will meet in special session at 6:45 p.m., Monday, April 24, to discuss the possible sale of the water and wastewater systems.

It will go to executive session to consider the two submitted proposals, one by Aqua and the other by Illinois American. Should the board decide to continue the sales process it may consider the approval of an agreement with Gerald Hartman for consulting services during the negotiation period with the chosen company.

Outgoing Fisher Village President Milt Kelly on Thursday recommended the board sell the water and wastewater treatment system to whomever makes the best offer. He said he did not feel it was fair for him to leave office without taking a position. He offered then to schedule a special meeting before the end of his term in May.

Last week the board hosted two public forums where citizens could ask questions and express their opinions and listen to representatives from each company outline their plans were they to buy the systems.

Head of public works for Fisher, Ron Ragle estimates the village will need to spend nearly $7 million for upgrades for both systems with most of the work done to the sewer system. Ragle said the village never knows what new environmental requirements will be demanded by the state environmental protection agency. Water and sewer rates were raised by 50 percent last week and further increases will come the next two years as well.

It is estimated Fisher could earn $4.5-$ 5 million for its water and wastewater systems. Current state law allows the purchasingcompany to be reimbursed by all its customers for the purchase of small systems and capital improvements made to them. That incentive in the Illinois Public Utilities Act expires in June 2018.

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