It is obvious that the Nokomis City Council should have voted to join EJ Water Corporation, a not-for-profit co-operative. We were advised that they could build a sewer plant for approximately $5 million. Our engineer said they could get it done for $7 million if I recall. Now, the City is proposing a $9 million bond issue. The citizens cannot afford this, and I cannot support it.
It is not too late to do the smart thing. EJ Water can continue to work with the IEPA. They have an excellent reputation and will provide water of a much higher quality than our wells can provide. They agreed to hire our employees and assume all of our debt. We will be members of a co-op, similar to an electrical co-op, and could seek to have a seat on the board.
They have an economy of scale, producing water for about $1.50 per thousand gallons versus our cost of $4.50. They can keep qualified staff, which our city has been unable to do.
We fail in maintenance and required EPA tasks despite our hardworking employees. EJ Water provides, or will provide, water for our county and surrounding communities. Regionalization is a trend, even Carlinville had to start a cooperative for their water.
The City of Nokomis should immediately join the EJ Water Cooperative. To do otherwise is folly.
Michael R. Glenn is a retired attorney that is currently serving as one of four city commissioners in the City of Nokomis.