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updated: 6/20/2014 1:15 PM

Vote on Wauconda water system delayed until at least August

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  • Doug Maxeiner

      Doug Maxeiner

 
 

A much-anticipated vote that would solidify Wauconda's plans for Lake Michigan drinking water has been delayed until at least August, officials have confirmed.

The Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency board was expected to vote on possible membership for the village during its meeting next week.

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But agreements between the agency, Wauconda and Volo -- the neighboring town that wants to partner with Wauconda on the water system expansion -- aren't yet complete, officials said.

"While we have made some progress on the two agreements ... they will not be ready for action by CLCJAWA at their June Board meeting," Wauconda Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner told the Daily Herald in an email.

No one's getting cold feet.

The deals weren't able to come together in time because Volo Village Administrator Michael May was off for about a week for his wedding, and the water agency's attorney, Stewart Diamond, was unavailable for a while, too.

Maxeiner said he believes Wauconda is on track to be on the agenda for the water agency's next executive committee meeting in early August, and the full board later that month.

The executive committee consists of administrators from the member towns. It advises the agency board, and it discusses all items before the board votes. Both panels meet every two months.

A deal involving three governmental agencies is going to take time, Volo's May said. Things are progressing, he said.

One of the big decisions that's pending is the cost split for a $25 million transmission main that will be shared by Wauconda and Volo. That main will be owned by the agency and will be built outside the village limits of both towns, Maxeiner said.

Wauconda, Volo and the agency also need to draft an agreement that defines the towns' financial obligations and the terms of membership.

Round Lake Beach Mayor Rich Hill, who leads the agency board, said the only remaining disagreements between his group and the towns are minor.

"I'm very optimistic that we will be able to put this together and have it ready for our August meeting," Hill said.

If the deals go through, Wauconda residents and businesses could be off wells and connected to Lake Michigan water in 2018, Maxeiner said.

Even though the agreements haven't been approved, Wauconda officials have approved work to be done on their water system in anticipation of the project.

The village board recently approved a $4.7 million contract for Berger Excavating Contractors for the first phase of improvements. Additional phases are scheduled for 2015 and 2016, Maxeiner said.

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