Alluvial water decision final

Alluvial water decision final

 

By ERIN SANSON
Enquirer-Democrat Reporter

Lake Carlinville was built in 1939 to serve as the water supply to the city of Carlinville. The lake has had a history of problems with siltation throughout its life that have continued into the present day despite efforts from the city to increase the water level and remove sediment. In 2006 Carlinville lake was listed on the Illinois List of Impared waters as the water did not meet quality standards due to high levels of phosphurus and manganese.

In December 2015 the city of Carlinville submitted their initial applicatin to form a regional water company. In March of 2016 Carlinville entered into a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture recieiving $30,000.00 from the USDA and putting up $10,000.00 of the city’s money to develop a regional water company.

In June of 2017 the Carlinville City Council, at the time comprised of Elaine Brockmeier, Cindy Campbell, Joe Direso, Doug Downey, Sarah Oswald, Beth Toon, Randy Bilbruck, and Kim Heigert, was presented with information by Litchfield Mayor Steve Dougherty on a possible water agreement between Carlinville and Litchfield. The project was estimated at the time to cost around $2 million in materials and would take two years to finish. Litchfield was offering Carlinville a 40 year contract.

Carlinville’s public works director at the time, Tim Hasara, claimed during the city council meeting on June 22, 2017, that a recommendation had been made to the Public Works Committee on that Tuesday to further become part of the regional entity with Jerseyville and Fosterburg. The primary concern between going with Litchfield water and using Jersey Rural water came from the higher chance of contaminated water from the lake in Litchfield and the need for long term maintenance, due in part to silting. Silting is a problem Carlinville already has with its own lake that has been deemed too expensive to attempt to rectify. Carlinville could acquire low-interest funding through Rural Development for construction of a groundwater source, while the city would have to pay with city funds to connect to Litchfield.

At a council meeting on December 4, 2017 the city council was again discussing the best way to proceed. At that meeting Alderwoman Toon asked then acting city attorney Brent Cain if the city has the statutory authority to agree to a non-profit regional water commission. Former city attorney Rick Bertinetti had files which contained references to a few instances involving language with the Illinois Constitution. A court case from 1982 of the Village of Sherman vs. the Village of Williamsville, had never been challenged, the ruling being that the village was allowed to contract. Cain admitted then that there was not much law regarding such instances. Cain told the council, “But my legal advice to the council tonight – I found nothing that says we do not have the authority to do that. The proof I have is that we do have the authority, and until somebody shows me differently, that’s what I would stand on.”

The Illinois Alluvial Regional Water Company was incorporated as a not-for-profit company the day after that city council meeting.

To read the complete story, see the October 14th edition of the Macoupin County Enquirer~Democrat.