As they near a deal to bring Lake Michigan drinking water to town, Wauconda officials on Tuesday scratched a big item off their to-do list.
The village board formally appointed veteran Trustee Lincoln Knight to be the town's representative on the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency board -- assuming that group offers membership to Wauconda, of course.
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In the same motion, the board also named Trustee Linda Starkey to be the town's alternate representative.
The move was critical for Wauconda. Mayors typically serve as the emissaries, but the water agency board members have criticized Wauconda Mayor Frank Bart's actions during negotiations last year and explicitly said they wouldn't allow Wauconda to join if he was the representative.
Bart took himself out of consideration for the post earlier this year and said he'd appoint Knight and Starkey to represent the town.
But at a meeting in April, agency board members said they didn't even want Bart to have a role in that process, and that the Wauconda board should choose the town's envoys.
So, that's what happened Tuesday night.
"We wanted to make sure that was very clear to them," Starkey said after the vote.
Knight thanked his peers on the board for their unanimous support and expressed optimism about the water plan.
"We're getting closer," he said. "Hopefully we'll be there very soon."
Before the water agency's board can vote to admit Wauconda, village officials must approve the terms of the agreement. That could happen "within the next couple of weeks," Starkey said.
The water agency's executive committee, which advises the agency's board, next meets June 12. The agency board is scheduled to meet June 25 and could vote to extend membership to Wauconda -- and neighboring Volo -- that night.