With minimal discussion Gillespie City Council members quickly voted to accept a 40-year contract and intergovernmental agreement to supply water to the City of Benld during a special meeting of the council on Wednesday night.
Additionally, the council agreed to offer the same terms to all of its satellite water customers. Those customers include the villages of Mount Clare, Sawyerville, Eagarville, Wilsonville and Dorchester.
“I think Wilsonville is probably going to go with us for the 40 years,” Mayor John Hicks said. “I know we’re going to lose Dorchester.” Dorchester has committed to being a part of the $66 million Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Co.
Hicks said Gillespie city officials may need to meet face-to-face with representatives from each of the satellite municipalities either during a meeting of the Gillespie council or during meetings of the individual village boards “whichever is convenient for them.”
The Benld City Council approved the contract with Gillespie during a special meeting last week. Under terms of the contract, which is effective Jan. 1, 2020, Benld will pay $5.29 per 1,000 gallons of treated water with a 500,000-gallon monthly minimum. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the price will drop to $4.71 per 1,000 gallons.
Future water rate increases are limited to base increases the City of Gillespie imposes on water users within its corporate limits (excluding increases imposed as a result of Gillespie’s current water infrastructure improvement project) or the cumulative rate of inflation as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor, whichever is less. The contract specifically protects Benld from paying rate increases to generate revenue to pay for the City of Gillespie’s water infrastructure project.
In other action, Gillespie council members discussed the ongoing water infrastructure improvement project, including planned provisions to connecting a planned Macoupin County Housing Authority project on the city’s southwest side. Aldermen also discussed removing from the project scope a water line running from the city to the northeast which has since been discovered to be privately owned. Council members briefly considered adding to the project a line running to the east of the city which has been discovered to be owned by the city. While no formal decision was made, there was a general consensus to not replace that line because it is relatively new.
No action followed an executive session to discuss a personnel issue.