Virginia City Council Facing Tough Decision on Water Rates

By Benjamin Cox on April 11, 2019 at 10:34am

The Virginia City Council will be facing a tough decision this evening as they will vote upon raising city water rates. After the Illinois Rural Water Association issued an initial report on the city’s water financials, the IRWA asked the city to initially raise its water rates to cover payments on a loan.

After some heated debate in 2010, the city voted for a loan from the EPA to build a new water plant. Since then, the city’s new water plant has been running at half capacity, leaving the city in a gap in money to cover the cost of the payments. The city had even reached out to the EPA to restructure the initial loan terms.

The city currently sells water to the Arenzville Rural Water Cooperative, Cass Rural Water District #1, and the North Morgan County Water Cooperative, according to the Drinking Water Watch report on the Illinois EPA website. The approval to raise the water rates took place at the March 14th meeting during the first reading of the ordinance and will begin taking effect during the May billing cycle, according to the city’s website.

On the rest of the agenda tonight, the city will hear the first reading of the Park budget, the second reading of the city’s fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, and the first reading of the fiscal year 2019-2020 appropriations ordinance. The meeting will begin at 7pm at City Hall, located at 153 South Front Street in Virginia.