LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Thank you, Howard Garland, for telling the truth about water/sewer woes
(This letter is in response to a July 15 column, “Darlington’s Water Woes,” which quoted a presentation by City Manager Howard Garland on how the city’s water/sewer problems had developed.)
Howard speaks the truth.
I moved to Lebanon, Ill., in 1981, and water/sewer pipes were over 100-150 years old. Our newly elected mayor, Bill Best, was pushing a proposal to do a $1 million renovation to our water and sewer system.
Our town population was 3,600 in 1981. Today it’s 4,000. We really haven’t grown; they just started counting college students about 10 years ago and the college has grown from 800 to 2,000 students with about half boarding in town.
Mayor Best was not liked at first because our water/sewer bill went from less than $10 to $25 per month. As work progressed, the city really found out how bad our pipes were and for the most part they all got on board with the improvements.
From that moment until now every new proposal for improvements has been accepted by our town. Our current water bills are around $50 per month for small households, two or less, but for a family of three to five, the average would be $75-100.
I water flowers and plants so my water is always $90 during summer and little less during fall and winter. I pen this letter to give Howard Garland support because if you don’t listen and act, the money you spend to patch up the problems while trying to fix it will bankrupt a small town like Darlington, or Lebanon, that is not growing.
Matching grants from state and federal sources are very competitive and we were lucky on our first back in ’81 at an 80/20 match. I understand now it’s more like 50/50 in Illinois. Thanks, Howard, for laying the truth out there; now it’s up to the people of Darlington.