The water reserve fund was a topic of much discussion at the Sandwich City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting Monday. The city council needs to approve a budget for the fiscal year that starts in May by April 30. It will likely be voted on at Monday's regular meeting.
A draft of the budget shows about $14.4-million in spending, with about $21-million between cash reserves, revenue, and loans. Alderman Fred Kreinbrink says one of his concerns is low cash reserves in the water fund.
Kreinbrink says he'd like to see the fund have enough cash to allow the water department to operate for a least a year. Kreinbrink says there are a few more things to do before before Monday.
Alderwoman Cara Killey says the budget can be amended later on if the city council wants to make changes.
One big capital project the city is taking on is the renovation of a new building for the Sandwich Police Station located on 6th Street. The city council voted to borrow $3.2-million for the project. The new police station will replace the one on E. College Street which has many issues and repair needs. The project is nearly ready to go out to bid.
The city council is also working out how to pay for around $9.1-million in state require upgrades to the sewer plant. The city is trying for a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, but will still likely have to raise sewer rates at a six percent yearly increase to cover loan payments. The IEPA is requiring cities along rivers to reduce the amount of phosphorus being released into the environment in treated sewer water.