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Fox River Grove increases late fees on water, sewer bills

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 8:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 7, 2014 3:47 p.m. CDT

FOX RIVER GROVE – Being late on paying a water and sewer bill in the village will cost a little more.

The Village Board in a 4-1 vote Thursday approved increasing the late fee for water and sewer bills to 10 percent from 5 percent.

The late fee originally was 10 percent, but it was reduced four years ago to help residents save money in a struggling economy, said Trustee Steve Knar.

“We had reduced it to help people out because the economy worsened,” Knar said. “I think people are taking advantage of it a little bit, paying other bills and not paying us. We need to encourage people to pay their bills to the village.”

Late fees kick in 15 days after the date of the original bill. Water and sewer customers are billed every two months.

Village Administrator Derek Soderholm said the municipality was on the low end when it came to late fees.

Soderholm said he expects the village to apply the new late fee during the March billing cycle.

Trustee Suzanne Blohm was the lone “no” vote on the late fee change.

She said the amount of people who are paying bills late or not at all is increasing.

“I feel if we raise the late fee, it’s not going to reduce [what is owed] to us,” Blohm said. “It’s just going to burden our residents with more costs.”

The Village Board also approved a road design and construction engineering contract with Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers.

The company will do the engineering work for $58,000 for this year’s road projects. The budget for the road projects and corresponding engineering is $750,000, Soderholm said.

Roads that will be resurfaced have yet to be finalized.

“We’re going to get as much road as we can get done,” Soderholm said.

The village plans to repave the access road to Picnic Grove Park and pave the park’s parking lot. Currently the parking lot is gravel.

Work at Picnic Grove Park is expected to cost $145,000, but that design work has yet to be completed, Soderholm said.

Portions of the access road are in the flood plain, Soderholm said.

If it’s determined there are no flood plain issues, the cost could be less and allow for the village to do work on an additional road, Soderholm said.

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