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Housing developer to fund Wonder Lake water system overhaul

Hearing set for Jan. 15

A manhole cover is pictured in Algonquin.
A manhole cover is pictured in Algonquin.

The developer of the Thatcher Meadows housing complex will pay for Wonder Lake’s proposed water system overhaul.

A notice sent out by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in December said Wonder Lake residents should be prepared to pay for a multimillion-dollar project in debt service charges to users – but that isn’t the case, Wonder Lake Village President Tony Topf said Tuesday.

Village officials sent in required documents that detailed how the village could pay back the loan if a developer wasn’t involved, which is where talk of a rate increase came in, Topf said.

“The IEPA wanted to know how the village would pay that [loan] back and if we were capable of paying it back,” Topf said. “They weren’t interested in whether there was a developer involved. They just wanted to know if we could pay it back.”

But the village doesn’t actually intend to raise its costs to residents, he said.

The village will take out a $5.8 million project loan through the Public Water Supply Loan Program.

NRB Land LLC, which is planning the Thatcher Meadows development, will be responsible for reimbursing the village for loan payments.

“We will not bill the homeowners,” Topf said. “We could, but we aren’t.”

The agreement requires NRB Land to deposit cash or a letter of credit for $700,000; buy capacity for a minimum of 100 units a year for nine years, each with a $3,500 connection fee; and reimburse the village for annual loan payments of $350,000 after the first nine years, when the connection fees will pay the loan installment, according to the agreement.

The village also has an option to create a special service area within the development and use revenue from that toward the loan, according to the agreement.

NRB Land once planned to build the 3,700-home subdivision between Wonder Lake and McHenry north of Route 120 and south of McCullom Lake Road. The project stalled in 2008, but activity has resumed.

The water system project would include the drilling of two new wells and a new water treatment plant, a 500,000-gallon ground storage tank, a pump station with three pumps, chemical feed equipment, a standby generator and about 6,100 feet of 12-inch water main, according to the project description.

A public hearing will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 15 at Village Hall, 4444 Thompson Road, to talk about the environmental effects of the project, according to a public notice.

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