In its Thursday meeting, Livermore City Council proposed to increase city water rates to account for McLean County Regional Water Commission’s recent rate increase. The council also proposed an increase to real property tax rates.

Sonny Renfrow provided an update to the council from the McLean County Regional Water Commission Thursday, noting that the MCRWC’s decision to raise water rates was a painful one, it needed to be done.

“One of the things we always want to do is keep the cost as low as possible but be able to meet our revenue requirements … to maintain the operation of the plant and make sure it’s operating at high levels,” Renfrow said. “As our revenues were continuing to not meet the needs of the operation of the facility, it was time to do something.”

He said the MCRWC’s rates are still lower than many surrounding water production facilities.

The rate will increase in two phases; phase one will go into effect on Oct. 1 with a 54 cent raise per 1,000 gallons, and phase two will be another 16 cent raise starting July, 2021, a 70 cent increase in total.

The change has pushed cities in McLean to propose rate changes to account for the increase in price, including Calhoun, Livermore and Island so far.

Rather than hitting customers with a 54 cent increase, however, Livermore City Council proposed a 35 cent increase starting Oct. 1 and another 35 cent increase July 2021.

“Right now, the City of Livermore, our water department funds are in pretty good shape, so rather than hit our citizens with 54 cents this first year, I would recommend that we do 35 cents this year and then 35 cents in July.” said Livermore Mayor Jesse Johnson.

According to city clerk Andrea Shelton, the change will increase the average customer’s bill from $87.74 a month to $89.18.

The city also proposed to take the compensating rate for real property taxes at 16.6 cents, a .4 cent raise from last year’s rate of 16.2 cents. For example, a person owning a home valued at $100,000 would pay $166 a year in real property taxes.

“That will provide for us to get approximately the same amount of revenue as last year,” Shelton said.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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