Informational charts, community endorsements and plenty of Aqua Illinois ‘blue shirt’ personnel were available at Watseka City Hall (Thursday). The water company hosted an open house to give local citizens an opportunity to ask questions and learn what Aqua is about and how the company could help the city’s future water and water treatment operations.
Maybe about 20 local citizens bothered to attend a three-hour session, even though there were a lot of concerns expressed a few short weeks ago at a public hearing.
Most of the concerns are about a large corporation taking over what citizens feel is their community asset, a community service the city owns and its people want to control.
The city council is considering a potential partnership where Aqua Illinois would take over ownership of the water and sewer system.
So often, it’s mis-information that raises concern. Aqua Illinois President Craig Blanchette says the open house was to address questions and any misinformation the public may have received.
Mayor Bob Harwood assures the community no decisions have been made; talks continue as to where the city may go with the water operations. But feedback is positive about Aqua Illinois.
The rates will go up – the mayor says – no matter what decision the city council makes.