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posted: 8/21/2013 5:30 AM

Wauconda wants more time for water deal

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  • Frank Bart

      Frank Bart

 
 

With a deadline expiring today, Wauconda officials want more time to discuss fees they want to collect from other municipalities if they agree to hook the village up to a Lake County drinking water system.

The village board Tuesday directed Mayor Frank Bart to send the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency a letter explaining their position and to request an unspecified extension.

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Bart said he'd send the three-page missive by email to the agency today. Officials with CLCJAWA are expecting the letter, he said.

The agency has been labeled as the preferred provider of Lake Michigan water for the village, but no contract has been signed. Wauconda voters in 2012 overwhelmingly approved a $50 million plan to bring Lake Michigan drinking water to town.

In a letter sent to Bart and the trustees in July, CLCJAWA Executive Director Darrell W. Blenniss Jr. said a decision needs to be made soon to "efficiently start the process of planning, designing and constructing the necessary infrastructure improvements that will be required" for the system.

The agency board believes the planning window "is beginning to close," Blenniss wrote.

With that in mind, Blenniss requested the village board formally agree to work with CLCJAWA by today's deadline.

Village officials want to collect fees from any villages that join the system after Wauconda and benefit from the money Wauconda spends on the effort.

Called recapture fees, village attorney Rudy Magna has said such charges are common.

Village officials want to make back some of the money they will spend on the project, Magna said Tuesday, not make a profit.

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