Genoa approves resolution against water authority

GENOA - The city council unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday to dissociate Genoa from a newly proposed governmental entity that would regulate groundwater use in most of DeKalb County. City Administrator Joseph Misurelli told aldermen about a Dec. 21 court hearing on the proposal that he attended in which many other communities filed formal objections to their inclusion in the Kishwaukee Valley Water Authority. “Everyone there was objecting except the DeKalb County Farm Bureau,” he said. “There is a lack of rhyme or reason to inclusion. One attorney said, ‘It looks like a piece of Swiss cheese.'” KVWA has its roots in a Woodstock-based group interested in conserving groundwater in McHenry, Boone and DeKalb counties. It would be set up under a state statute that allows for the creation of water authorities. As proposed, the KVWA would have the power to approve or deny requests to dig new wells and to limit water use during droughts. It would be paid for by a new property tax. Genoa has many objections to being included within the boundaries of the proposed water authority and contends that other, comparably sized communities are excluded, while some communities seem to be arbitrarily included. DeKalb and Sycamore, among other larger cities in the three counties, would not be subject to KVWA's authority. The city of Genoa, according to the resolution, also is concerned that “the KVWA proposal represents an inequitable tax burden on Genoa residents.” The resolution also states the proposed water authority “represents a duplication of government” because Genoa already has a public water supply. In their adoption of the resolution, council members urged that “the petitioners withdraw their petition, or that the court dismiss this petition.” Alternatively, the council would like all of DeKalb County, but especially the city of Genoa, to be removed from the proposed Kishwaukee Valley Water Authority. Mayor Todd Walker assured aldermen that “staff is on top of this issue. The next court date is set for January 30th.” If a DeKalb County judge approves the petitions to put creation of KVWA on the ballot, residents would have a chance to vote on it in the April 17 elections. Also Tuesday, the council unanimously approved the purchase of snowblower equipment to help in the removal of snow from sidewalks, pathways and parking lots. The cost is not to exceed $4,400. Although it is not a budgeted item, Public Works Director Richard Gentile said the city has the money.