WSPYnews.com photo by Mark Harrington.

In the quest for a new water source, the village of Montgomery added another option to its list, the second plan that is different from what Oswego and Yorkville are considering in a joint venture of all three municipalities. 

Montgomery may decide to go solo in supplying water to residents, including the Boulder Hill Subdivision it already serves. In addition, the village could hook up with the city of Aurora. Both involve drawing water from the Fox River. 

Montgomery Village President Matthew Brolley had this to say to trustees at its meeting Monday night. 

Jeff Freeman of Engineering Enterprises, Inc. of Sugar Grove, told trustees that the most cost effective is if all three communities - Montgomery, Yorkville, and Oswego - go together. 

In reviewing the options, the least expensive is for Montgomery to go alone without Oswego and Yorkville. The most expensive is with the city of Joliet, which plans to build a pipeline from Lake Michigan. 

On the water availability timeline, the longest is a Fox River regional link or the Joliet connection, all by the year 2030, meanwhile the shortest is the DuPage Water Commission that has a Lake Michigan pipeline, starting in three years. 

However, two issues may affect the decision. Joliet is seeking a January answer while the DuPage Water Commission is currently negotiating a new contract with the city of Chicago.  The current 40-year contract expires in 2024. 

Another factor is the Illinois legislature would have to approve creating a new district to allow Oswego, Yorkville, and Montgomery one representative on the 24-member DuPage Water Commission. 

Montgomery also is looking at a $6.2 million annual cost-savings, called a pass-through, if an alternative source decision is delayed.

In the weeks ahead, village trustees will use a weighted matrix to evaluate the best option where governance, risk, water quality, cost, sustainability-quantity, and management-staffing will be ranked. 

In addition, a resident currently paying $48.80 per month would see a rate increase to $90.49 for Fox River from Montgomery, $92.39 if a river regional link is used or $100.30 for being supplied with Aurora water.  Joliet would be the highest at $105.72. 

Total costs inflated to the construction year show the Fox River option for Montgomery at $86.3 million, or $18 million less than partnering with Yorkville and Oswego for a Fox River link. Switching to Aurora pipes would cost just under $7 million more. 

Another provider, the private Illinois American Water company did not provide costs as happened at the Oswego Village Board meeting last week. Its water line ends at Plainfield but could offer water in four or five years.

Loans for the project cost would start in 2027 except for the DuPage Water Commission option at 2024. 

Brolley asked Freeman to provide documentation on the frequency of Lake Michigan main transmission line interruptions, where Montgomery would then switch to its wells as backup. Trustee Theresa Sperling was told by Freeman that the raising  of the Chain O’Lakes dam on the Fox River in low water for recreational boaters there would not affect downstream water levels and intake. 

An open house will be held for Montgomery and Boulder Hill water users on November 3rd and the Montgomery Village Board will conduct a workshop Nov. 13th. Discussion will continue at upcoming board meetings. A Joliet decision may come as early as November or in December. 

The 72-page Montgomery document is anticipated to be on the village’s website.