Village of Lake Bluff Committee of the Whole met November 27
Village of Lake Bluff Committee of the Whole met November 27.
Here is the minutes as provided by the committee:
Consideration of the Minutes from the November 13, 2017 Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting
Trustee Towle moved to approve the November 13, 2017 COW Meeting Minutes as presented. Trustee Meyer seconded the motion. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.
A Discussion regarding the recently completed Comprehensive Plan for the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency (“CLCJAWA”)
President O’Hara introduced the item and invited Village Engineer Jeff Hansen to the podium to present. Village Engineer Hansen provided an overview of the CLCJAWA planning process, which was undertaken to identify how to best utilize 7 million gallons per day of excess production capacity. Through the planning study, CLCJAWA narrowed a field of 49 possible customers to three groups numbering nine jurisdictions in total to consider as possible future customers. The nine under consideration were selected based on the following criteria:
Require 2040 expected demand of 0.2-7 million gallons per day (MGD)
• Eliminate customers exclusively with private wells
• Eliminate customers already receiving Lake Michigan water
• CMAP 2020/2040 demand ratio as indicator of progress towards build out
• Distance from CLCJAWA transmission system
• Number of contiguous members to customer
• Potential interconnection to alternate Lake Michigan sources
• Existing water quality issues
• Relative proportion of available capacity
Village Engineer Hansen provided an overview of how each community scored based on the evaluation criteria, how the communities were grouped into the three groups, and provided an overall cost summary and expected cost savings to other CLCJAWA recipients (such as the Village) expected to be realized if CLCJAWA extends service to one of the groups. Village Engineer Hansen concluded his presentation.
Trustee Ankenman asked about the financial assumptions used by the study. Village Engineer Hansen said that, while he was not sure of the exact assumptions, the figures shown provide a good relative comparison between the attractiveness of different customers and groups under consideration.
Trustee Towle asked what bottlenecks existed that were limiting supply capacity today, and how CLCJAWA planned to address those during expansion. Village Engineer Hansen provided a review of the CLCJAWA Capital Improvement Program, noting that both capacity and redundancy improvements had been planned. He noted that the redundancy improvements are necessary whether or not CLCJAWA expands, but could be funded in part by expansion revenues; while western communities are required to have emergency wells ready for use, a major event such as a break where the main crosses the Tollway could take a significant amount of time to restore service to western recipients.
President O’Hara discussed the Supreme Court’s allotment of Lake Michigan water for Illinois municipalities. Trustee Meyer and Village Engineer Hansen discussed a supply versus capacity chart showing the effects of planned capital improvements, and discussed the underlying assumptions taken from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). Trustee Meyer asked how much disruption the new pipe construction would cause. Village Engineer Hansen responded that it would take one construction season to complete.
President O’Hara read aloud a letter by Libertyville Mayor Terry Weppler expressing concerns about CLCJAWA’s expansion strategy and concurred. She noted there was a significant amount of uncertainty in the future, including climate change; the state allotment system; and the desire for western states to gain access to Great Lakes water. She does not support CLCJAWA expansion.
Trustee Dewart agrees that CLCJAWA should not expand at this time. He serves as the Village’s alternate to the CLCJAWA Board. He discussed the history of CLCJAWA’s recent expansion efforts and the CLCJAWA Comprehensive Plan, noting that some CLCJAWA members seek water supply price reductions to improve their financial position from water sale profits. He is unsure that the emergency water wells are being maintained adequately. He believes that Lake Bluff, as the home to the CLCJAWA physical plant, will experience the most significant impacts from any CLCJAWA construction activities. He has severe reservations and agrees with Terry Weppler’s letter. He believes there are too many variables not understood or clearly articulated by CLCJAWA leadership.
Trustee Lemieux concurred. He talked about the effects that construction would have on the CLCJAWA plant’s neighbors.
Trustee Meyer and Village Engineer Hansen discussed the supply graph again, asking if the chart accounts for periodic droughts. Village Engineer Hansen said that the supply graph is conservative enough to meet the shown supply even if the lake levels were to drop. Trustee Meyer expressed reservations about future CLCJAWA expansion.
Trustee Towle said that it was important for CLCJAWA’s charter members to maintain priority, and said that excess capacity should be sold as a third-party contracting arrangement.
President O’Hara and Trustees Grenier and Dewart discussed the possible motivations for other communities to seek CLCJAWA expansion.
Trustee Ankenman discussed the grouping methodology with Village Engineer Hansen, asking how the field was narrowed and about how existing Lake Michigan water customers, such as North Chicago, would be treated. Village Engineer Hansen said that there were too many scenarios to consider if the plan’s scope was that broad. President O’Hara said that North Chicago has previously said that they are not interested in participating in CLCJAWA, and that CLCJAWA does not want to compete with other Lake Michigan water agencies.
As no further business came before the Committee of the Whole, Village President O’Hara called for a motion to adjourn. The motion was made by Trustee Towle and seconded by Trustee Grenier. The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote and the meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.