Phased-in water rate increase approved in Mansfield

Mansfield village board members decided on Oct. 1 to raise monthly water rates $2 per year for the next five years, mostly to help pay for a $1.08 million water main replacement project that could start next spring or summer.

Rates for the village’s 473 residential households will go from $20 to $22 on Jan. 1, then an additional $2 per year to $30 in January of 2023. Monthly charges for business and industrial users will also increase $10 by 2023 to $30.

For non-residents using village water, rates will increase from $23 to $33 per month over the same time period.

Voting yes on the new rates were Zach Reynolds, Ron Konen and Tom Williams, with board member Todd Jones dissenting.

The village will use a loan from the Illinois Rural Development Agency to pay for the work, which will include water main replacement for portions of Main, Washington, East Oliver and West Illinois Streets. One of those stretches, on Main Street from Newtown to South streets, has experienced 18 line breaks in three years.

Rural Development officials estimated the village would need a $5 per month increase to meet the loan payments. At a meeting last month, a phased-in approach was discussed to make it easier on customers with fixed incomes.

The loan payment and interest will total about $45,000 each year for the next 40 years, but village officials have said they hope they play to set aside additional funds to pay it off early. The town is expected to have a $300,000 balance in its water fund and $229,000 in its general fund at the end of the current fiscal year.

A 2016 study of Central Illinois water rates showed Mansfield charged less than all but four towns in the 102-community survey.



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