Another key step in bringing Lake Michigan water to Lindenhurst has been cleared and pending actions are on track to move the process from discussion to design.
The village board on Monday voted 5-0 in agreement with Lake County establishing Special Service Area No. 16 -- the special taxing district that will allow for design and construction of the $41 million project.
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"It's basically saying, we're OK with you creating this SSA," Village Administrator Matt Formica said.
Next, the village board will vote on measures to join the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency, a consortium of communities formed in the 1980s to bring Lake Michigan water to the Lake County. The agency last week agreed to accept the new members.
Lindenhurst is working in partnership with Lake Villa and unincorporated Grandwood Park and Fox Lake Hills, which are considered Lake County systems. The special taxing area covers more than 11,000 properties in all those jurisdictions. Lake Villa also has approved the measure.
"Consenting to the SSA and approval of the admissions agreement with the agency (CLCJAWA) are definitely major steps," Formica said.
A Lake County Board committee next week will review and make a recommendation on whether to officially establish the special taxing district. As an existing member of CLCJAWA, the county also will have to approve admitting the new members. The full county board is scheduled to consider both measures Nov. 12.
Meanwhile, a 60-day objection period to the taxing district ended a few weeks ago. The special service area could have been negated if a majority of electors and owners of record signed a petition opposing the move.
"No signed petitions were received at the county clerk's office objecting to the formation of Special Service Area 16," said Peter Kolb, Lake County public works director.
The SSA allows the county to issue a maximum of $46 million in bonds, a form of borrowing, for the project. The first bond sale is expected to raise $7 million.
That money would be used for "all of the preliminary work to get a set of drawings ready so we can go out to bid" for construction, according to Kolb. Lake Michigan water isn't expected to flow to the new taps until the end of 2016 or early 2017, he added.
Formica said only six of the village's 10 shallow wells are fully operational. Two have been shut down because of high iron content and two operate at less than capacity.
"We continue to see depletion," of the water supply, he said. The village will spend about $100,000 to buy some time.
"In this budget year, we're doing some well rehabilitation work to take some short-term steps to get more production out of those wells," he said.