Mike Watson Sewer Rates

Bradley Mayor Mike Watson says the village was “aggressive” with its five-year plan to increase sewer rates. On Monday, the village board voted to freeze the rates for the next year.

BRADLEY — The Bradley Village Board voted to freeze sewer rates for the next year, taking a break from a five-year plan to boost rates.

“Just because we’re freezing rates, you may have an increase or decrease based on your usage,” Rob Romo, the village’s finance director, told the board.

Last year, the board approved 3 percent annual increases for the next five years, officials said.

In an interview after the meeting, Mayor Mike Watson, who was appointed in late April, noted he voted against the five-year plan.

“I thought that was an aggressive rate increase,” he said. “In this new position as mayor, I was able to ask staff to re-evaluate. We hit our residents pretty hard last year. ... This administration will do things a little differently.”

Bourbonnais, meanwhile, is looking to increase its sewer bills by $4 per month, which would be the first hike in two years.

The sewer rate increase is being proposed because the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency is treating more wastewater from Bourbonnais, officials said.

NEW POSITION

The village of Bradley is creating a new position to market itself, costing taxpayers up to $24,000 per year.

On Monday, the village board voted to create the position of “communication engagement coordinator.” The position may be filled by an employee or independent contractor, officials said.

Village administrator Catherine Wojnarowski recommended the new position.

“We have a tremendous need to market ourselves,” Wojnarowski said. “Our story is not being told at the magnitude that the public would like, not as much as a marketing professional would like to do.”

The new person could help the village build its relationship with constituents and stakeholders outside the community, she said.

Wojnarowski said the village would advertise the position to employees first.

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