Wauconda residents Tuesday voted to get their water from Lake Michigan rather than rely on village wells.
With all 11 precincts reporting, the vote was 2,039, or 64 percent, in favor of changing the source of drinking water, with 1,157 votes cast against, according to unofficial results.
The approval sends a strong message to the region that Wauconda is a dynamic player in economic development, said Mayor Mark Knigge. “The voters have given us a remarkable trust factor,” said Knigge. “It’s a statement on how our quality of life in the village should be.”
Homes and businesses in Wauconda get water from eight wells that are expected to run dry in 18 years. Well contamination also has been a concern.
The project will cost $50 million, officials have said. The owner of a house valued at $200,000 could pay an additional $516 a year in property taxes and water fees to fund the effort, documents indicate.
Island Lake voters rejected a proposal that would have turned the village clerk’s job into a part-time, appointed position. The clerk will remain an elected post.
With all four precincts reporting, unofficial vote tallies showed 743 votes, or 75 percent, against the change; 252 votes were cast in favor of the proposal.
Proponents on the village board said having an appointed clerk could create some stability in the office. The village is on its third clerk since Mayor Debbie Herrmann took office three years ago. The move also would have opened up the pool of candidates to people who live outside Island Lake.
Island Lake voters also opposed plans to construct a new municipal building by a vote of 762 to 223, unofficial results showed.
The question was added to the ballot by residents, so the results aren’t binding.
Village officials and consultants have discussed building a facility in Water Tower Park on Route 176 at Newport Court. With an estimated base price of $4.9 million, the complex is planned to house village offices, a police station, a community center and other services.
Consumers in four Lake County communities gave their leaders the nod to find other companies that can provide electricity at lower rates than ComEd.
Referendum voters in Lake Barrington, Hawthorn Woods, Fox Lake and Warren Township said it was OK to allow officials to pool residents and small commercial retail customers to negotiate with providers of electricity on their behalf.
In Lake Barrington, unofficial results had the aggregation question approved with 1,167 votes, or 68 percent, compared to 557 no votes.
In Hawthorn Woods, the proposal passed with 1,502 votes, or 64 percent, compared to 876 against. Fox Lake showed 1,448 voting yes, or 51 percent, compared to 1,373 voting no.
In Warren Township, 10,320, or 59 percent, voted in favor of the proposal, with 7,080 voting against.
All results are unofficial. Aggregation has been approved in many localities in the past two years. A majority of individuals must approve the move, through referendum, for an entity to create an aggregation program. Aggregation was allowed in 2009 by state law with the objective of achieving lower electric rates. ComEd will continue to distribute the electricity.
ź Daily Herald Staff Writers Anna Marie Kukec, Russell Lissau and Mick Zawislak contributed to this report.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.