MINOOKA — The village of Minooka reduced sewer and water connection fees in another effort to spur growth in the community.
“It’s part of our incentive package we’ve been working on the last several months,” Village Administrator Dan Duffy said.
A new single family home will now cost $1,500 to connect to water service in the village and $3,500 to connect to sewer service. The total cost is now $5,000, whereas it was previously $7,850, Duffy said.
The same costs apply to multi-family dwellings and commercial businesses. Additional costs apply to businesses using more than 350 gallons of water per day. Schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations are charged $1,200 for sewer and water combined.
The costs cover the expense of labor and materials to install the connection and to bring water and sewer lines to the property.
The village recently extended the economic stimulus program, which rebates $10,000 back to the homebuyer upon completion of new construction. They’ve also reduced the value of land in the village from $7,500 to $4,500 for cash in lieu of the land impact fee, which goes to the school districts and open space and recreation.
The latest reduction in sewer and water tap on fees will help to make Minooka more attractive to residential and businesses.
When asked how the fee compared with neighboring communities, Minooka Mayor Pat Brennan responded, “I think everybody is lowering fees.”
Village Administrator Dan Duffy’s employment agreement was unanimously renewed for another four years last week by village trustees.
Duffy was retained in his position at a salary of $103,968, to run concurrent with the term of Mayor Pat Brennan. The position is appointed by the mayor and voted on by village trustees.
Duffy joined the village staff in July 2011, replacing Administrator Jim Grabowski. At the time, Brennan said the village was lucky to have signed Duffy because of his experience in economic development and his familiarity with local organizations, the county and the community.
He spent five years as development director at the Grundy Economic Development Council and four years as administrator of Grundy County before coming to Minooka.
“I am more than happy with the renewal of my contract. The board and mayor have been very generous,” Duffy said. “I look forward to working with them four more years to keep growth and success moving forward.”
Village trustees last week approved the village’s Fiscal Year budget for 2013-14.
Finance Director John Harrington gave highlights of the new budget at the village board meeting. Expenditures for the upcoming year are expected to be $12,849,538, while total estimated revenues are $10,865,954, said Harrington.
There are several ongoing capital projects that are being carried forward into the new budget. Those include the renovation of the village hall, bike path study for McEvilly Road, water main replacements in the 200-300 block of North Wabena, at Edgewater Drive and U.S. 6 and at Minooka Road and Shady Oaks Drive and Coady Drive sewer and water main improvements.
The budget includes replacement of two squad cars, a one-ton truck and an equipment trailer.
A new position, Assistant Public Works Director, has been added to the staff. The position will report to Public Works Director Rob Tonarelli.
“To have one person over seeing everything (is a lot),” said Harrington. “We are bigger now and it puts an incredible strain on Rob. We need another person in there.”
Revenues have decreased from the past fiscal year, down by $156,647. The difference will be funded by transfers or bond proceeds and capital funds carried over from the current year.
The village’s operating fund proposed expenditures and transfers are down 1.9 percent over last year. Revenues in that fund have increased by 1.6 percent.
The village has a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2014 with a budget surplus of $40,000, according to Harrington’s report.
GRUNDY TRANSIT FUNDING
The Grundy Transit System will have a little more money to work with, with the addition of $5,000 in funding approved by the village board last week.
The transit system, which operates buses on both pre-scheduled routes and a per-call basis, has been growing tremendously over the last couple years.
Minooka residents are one of the fastest growing users of the transit program, Duffy said.
“We are right behind Morris,” he said.
With the increase of riders, Director Sherry Zerbian is seeking help from communities that utilize the program.
This is the first year the village has contributed to the system, Duffy said.
“The ridership has doubled, that’s why they have asked for help,” said Mayor Pat Brennan.
Minooka’s newest police office was sworn in last week. Officer Chris Presler graduated from the academy on March 20 and was sworn in on April 22.
“I had the honor of being at Chris’ graduation,” Minooka Mayor Pat Brennan said. “A great group of guys came out of there and Chris was probably one of the top ones.”
Presler is also being promoted to Sergeant in the Army National Guard.
In other business, the village board approved:
• A nuisance tree ordinance that will give the village the tool needed to deal with trees on private property which could endanger public property.
• An energy conservation code, which requires new homes to be constructed by new state energy standards.
• A reduction of one Class A3 liquor licenses as a result of the closing of O’DonJo’s Restaurant.
• A temporary increase of one Class E liquor licenses for a one-day private event at Fat Boyz Pizza.