Proposal focuses on sewer system repairs, comes at cost to taxpayers

News

DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — City leaders in Danville need to fix the sewer system. Doing so will make everyone’s sewer bills higher for years. But if they don’t do something, it could end up costing even more later on.

Most people in Danville pay an average of $16 a month. That’ll go up to about $29 if this passes. But city leaders argue that’s a small price to pay to maintain something crucial that’s crumbling.

“We have some sewers that were actually built at the turn of last century,” said Williams. Not much has been done since. That’s why mayor Rickey Williams says updates are long overdue.

“We had a woman fall into a sinkhole in our neighborhood. It just collapsed on her, and so that’s the kind of aging infrastructure that we’re dealing with,” said Williams. “We get sewer backups in folks’ yards, in their houses. We get flooding from storm water drainage issues.” That’s why he says repairs have to happen soon.

“If we are able to line a pipe, it costs us $50 per square foot, however if we have to replace that, it costs us $250,” explained Williams. Those repairs will be paid for through Danville sewer bills.

The cost increase would differ based on the type of property.

“It’s 85% residential, triple in commercial, and three and a half times on the industrial. I just think it’s ridiculous,” said Alderman Aaron Troglia. He’ll be voting against it.

“There’s never a perfect time to do this, but honestly I think you couldn’t pick a worse time,” he said. “I just don’t think the sewer system’s gonna fall apart in one year on this if we don’t do it. We should at least wait until we know what’s going on with COVID-19 and we’re not gonna get shut down.”

But Mayor Williams says they don’t have that much time. “If we don’t do something about it now, we’re going to get to a place where it makes getting rid of waste water is impractical for both residents and businesses.”

This still needs to be passed by the city council. They’ll vote on it next Tuesday. If it goes through, they’d start collecting money in April, and there will be five percent increase on sewer bills every year after that indefinitely.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.