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home : news : local   May 24, 2016

4/23/2014 11:14:00 AM
Electronic water meters coming to Utica

Tom Collins
NewsTribune Senior Reporter

“I am very excited the entire village will finally get the meters in,” Mayor Gloria Alvarado said Tuesday at a special board meeting. “It’s going to be very beneficial to the entire village.”

But to ensure full compliance, the Utica Village Board proposed an ordinance that increases water service sharply for those residents who refuse to work with the village.

The board put the finishing touches on an ordinance that would increase the monthly fee from $11.50 to $60 per month for non-compliant residents. The stiff increase won’t kick in, however, until residents demonstrate a dogged unwillingness to cooperate.

First, the village will contact non-compliant homeowners and then give them several weeks to admit a technician to install a meter. But if the homeowner doesn’t respond and doesn’t comply within the allotted time, the rate would take effect at the next monthly billing cycle.

The new ordinance should be ready for a vote on May 14.

Separately, former Utica trustee Dennis Hamilton was installed as the newest member of the Utica Planning Commission, replacing Gene Drzewiecki who is stepping down due to health issues.

“Gene did an outstanding job,” Alvarado said, crediting Drzewiecki for his hard work, preparation and thoughtful decisions.

The board voted 6-0 to ratify Mayor Gloria Alvarado’s appointment of Hamilton, who served two terms on the village board ending in 2005. Hamilton said he retired recently and was open to serving the village in another capacity.

The village will open its May 14 meeting with a public hearing required to seek a grant to replace aging infrastructure, chiefly on Johnson Street where residents have complained of rusty water. A grant would defray 75 percent of the costs.

In other matters, the board:

Purchased a defibrillator for Neighbors Park at a cost of $1,496.85

Approved a written request for a 30-foot berm on property located at 1083 N. 2803 rd Road

Acquired two small parcels near the village’s well house on Grove Street at no charge, save for absorbing the closing costs and removal of trailers.

* Tabled a motion to select an electrical supplier. The village’s consultant reported Ameren, the current supplier, still has the lowest rate and recommended no action.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

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