Residents who live in Oliver look to be in for a shock when they open their utility bills next year; the village has applied for a rate increase that would more-than double the current rate - as part of a plan to make up lost revenue and finance a water main project.

According to news sources, the request from the Village of Oliver came as part of a response to a request submitted by the Public Service Commission.  The commission suggested the rate increase because Oliver had shown a more than $10,000 loss over the last two years, leaving it with less than the desired amount of cash on hand; the PSC suggests 90 days of operating cash for a public utility.

So how much would the water rate being going up?  Based on a 3,000 gallon monthly usage, a residential customer currently paying $29.88 would see that rate change to $71.11 - a rate that is more-than double for the increase. "Without the rate increase, the utility will incur a $20,341 income deficit next year after total expenses of $44,206 are subtracted from revenue of $23,955, according to the application."

The proposed increased also comes at a time when the Village of Oliver is set to embark on a water main project.  "The village is eligible for financing through the state Safe Drinking Water Loan to fund replacing water mains next year along Highway 105, State Street, and a portion of Chicago Avenue.  Construction is expected to begin next spring and cost estimates will be developed before then".

Before the projected rate increases can take effect, a series of public hearings will need to be held.  According to officials, that process could be delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and could take up to 6 months.

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