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Downers Grove council postpones vote on animal boarding facility

The Downers Grove Village Council delayed a vote May 9 to consider the prospect of issuing a special use permit to allow an animal boarding facility on the Village’s south side.

“I believe we were able to get notice out to most folks that there’s been a request by the petitioner to defer any action on that until next week at the earliest,” Mayor Martin Tully said.

Pete & Max Pet Resorts is requesting approval to occupy the former Walgreens site located at 7221 Lemont Road. The matter was last reviewed at the Downers Grove Village Council’s May 2 meeting, at which point a number of residents expressed concern with the proposal.

Though consideration of the special use permit was included on the agenda, no vote took place. Members of the council did not hold any discussion on the matter.

Tully said it is not uncommon for a petitioner to hold off on a request as a proposal is reworked before returning to the council.

Downers Grove resident Marvin Schaar, who also appeared at the council’s May 2 with a petition signed by 179 residents opposing the proposal as drafted, said he still felt compelled to come forward to speak on behalf of himself and others in the community.

“While we’re disappointed that we could not proceed this evening, we will continue on,” he said. “Our focus will continue to be protecting the welfare of the residents in the vicinity and trying to achieve a win-win. So, we’ll read the petitioners revised plan very carefully and get back to you with our thoughts and comments.”

Village to amend ordinance to regulate water rates

Also at that meeting, Downers Grove officials reviewed an ordinance that could apply a 1.67 increase to water rates charged to residents.

“Simply put, this ordinance would increase the Village of Downers Grove’s water rates for all customers by 1.1 percent,” Village Manager David Fieldman said. “This increase would cover the cost that the Village pays of purchasing water directly from the DuPage Water Commission, which supplies all of our water.”

Commissioner William Waldack questioned why the council is amending the water rate mid-year and suggested that maybe, the Village should pass this measure when the council starts looking at next year’s budget, at which point another increase is in the works.

Tully said that’s a fair question for Waldack to ask.

Typically, the ordinance to regulate the water rate is introduced by Village officials when they begin budget discussions.

The changes in the ordinance, if approved at all at once, positions Village’s residents to be charged at double the water rate.

The Village did not budget for a water rate increase in its fiscal year 2017 annual comprehensive budget.

Fieldman said the water rate change is happening to all of the purchasers of the DuPage Water Commission and it’s real.

Commissioner Bob Barnett questioned why there should be a distinction made between the Village amending its water rate mid-year to 1.67 percent and later to 1.1 percent.

Fieldman explained that “because of the purchase of water represents only one portion of our costs—it’s a large portion—but the other cost we had budgeted not to have an increase this year per our plan, so we didn’t want to bump up the other rates unless it was pursuant to a plan.”

The council will consider amending the ordinance to regulate the Village’s water rates at its May 16 meeting.

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