A Message from the Mayor
Dear Dolton Families and Friends,
As we close out primary election season and prepare to welcome spring, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to get out and vote. Each one of us has a voice, and it is becoming increasingly important that we have our voices heard-- and that we stand up for the things that we believe in in our community.
In March, we put electrical aggregation on the ballot as a referendum. Our goal at Village Hall was to help the Village and our residents save money on electricity costs while still giving residents the opportunity to opt-out and remain with their current electricity provider. According to reports, on Election Day, 80 percent of Illinois communities with that referendum on the ballot passed it. Nearly 20 Illinois communities had already approved electrical aggregation referendums. They have all reported that their residents have seen savings of 15 to 30 percent in their power bills. The vote on electrical aggregation would have given us the authority to negotiate electric-supply deals with energy suppliers who work with Commonwealth Edison and keep our cost down for at least the next two years. Though our community declined this opportunity on Election Day, we hope to continue to educate everyone on what this process could mean for us. We are going to work to answer our residents’ concerns and get that referendum back on the ballot for reconsideration. We must continue to explore cost savings wherever we can. When we begin to save money on electricity, we can put those funds towards other important things to help improve our overall community.
Remember, in January, the City of Chicago initiated water rate hikes that will have an automatic economic impact on the Village. The hike has naturally forced water rates in the Village to increase. Under Chicago’s plan, water rates will increase by 70 percent over the next four years. The 25 percent increase this year is the largest single-year increase since 1981. So, even as we work to see cost savings in electricity, our water rates will rise. Beginning April 1st, our rates in Dolton will change from $3.51 per unit to $4.38 per unit. The minimum water bill will be $43.80. Sewage remains unchanged at a minimum rate of $2.00. Refuge also remains at a minimum of $42.00. We are still working to minimize the impact of water rate hikes here in Dolton. Though we have to bear with some of these economic changes, we are doing all that we can to support our residents and to continue growth and development in our community.
Right now, we are in the process of applying for funding under the Illinois Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) IKE-Disaster Recovery Program to support an update to the Dolton Comprehensive Plan. The project will provide detailed studies and mapping. This data will ultimately reduce the risk of flooding caused by uncontrolled storm and flood water. We have also already begun tearing down abandoned homes and building new ones through our Neighborhood Stabilization Program. We are continuing to seek grant funding at every opportunity. We are open to ideas and funding options, and we are going to work to ensure that we keep our community moving forward.
I want to remind everyone that brown bag pick-up will begin on April 1st 2012 and continue through December 1st. Homewood Disposal handles the Village’s refuse and some yard waste collections. All debris should be put out front by the curb no earlier than 7:00 p.m. the day before your trash collection day or by 6:00 a.m. the day of collection. Please call 708-798-1004 if you have any questions relating to waste pick-up.
Until next time, my doors are always open. I hope to see you at the board meetings, and we still need community input in our comprehensive planning process. I know that everyone is busy, but let’s work to come together and make improvements as a community however and whenever we can.