Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

July 2, 2013

St. Elmo council approves new water rates

Jackson Adams Daily News
Effingham Daily News

---- — ST. ELMO — The St. Elmo City Council approved a new ordinance raising water rates at its meeting Monday night.

Council member Sharon Belden said a recent increase for the city’s water would lead to a hike, from 65 cents per 100 gallons for residents to 70 cents per 100 gallons.

”We were notified by Fayette County Water that rates were going to be raised,” she said. “We need to raise rates to accommodate that raise.”

Belden said the new rate for the city’s water has to do with increased salt in the water requested after the city’s water quality and salt content was remarked on by citizens earlier in the year. The raise was approved unanimously by the council.

Another ordinance may be hitting the books soon, according to Mayor Ernie Meyers, regarding the upkeep of rented property in town after several citizen complaints about improper upkeep and appearances of homes around St. Elmo.

”We’re trying to see about getting a city ordinance to keep the people who own the property responsible because if they can be made responsible, then they can keep the people who live there responsible,” he said. “I’ve been looking at it and we’re working on it. I don’t know when it’ll happen but I can guarantee we’re working on it.”

The city may also begin working with Brownstown to increase police presence. Meyers said he had been approached about having St. Elmo police patrol Brownstown for 25 hours a week to make up for the city’s lack of a police force.

”Brownstown would like our help,” he said.

While few details have been worked out as to the cost of coverage, the board approved Meyers to continue to look into a potential intergovernmental agreement with Brownstown to bring police into the village. He said he would be willing to pursue working on a six-month trial period and evaluate the situation after further details about the cost of sharing resources would be completed.

”I’m not against the possibility of doing it,” said council member Allen Nevergall.

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.