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  Members of the Mount Pleasant Finance, Legal and License Committee Thursday are expected to discuss revising the village’s water connection ordinance. The item is on the meeting agenda because the Racine Water Utility alerted customers last month to an expected increase of $130 in connection charges – commonly known as REC fees – for new customers. REC fees are based on the average amount of water a residential home uses during the year, which is about 72,000 gallons. One REC is currently $3,320, and the water utility is proposing a $130 increase for a total connection charge of $3,450 per REC. Sturtevant trustees plan to send a letter to the utility objecting to the increase because, they say, current fees make it hard enough to attract new business to the area. A fried chicken pick-up/carry-out, a daycare and an unnamed bottling company – which could have seen a $13 million REC charge – all squashed plans to locate in Sturtevant, according to board members. Jeff Seitz from GAI Consultants advised Sturtevant to send the letter citing three primary reasons for their objection: with consumption decreasing they want to see some cost-cutting at the utility; costs are driving away business instead of attracting it; and working together on some “out of the box” thinking like taking a hit up front to make up the money and then some in the long run. Mount Pleasant is expected to take a similar stance and work with Sturtevant on the issue. We will update this story as more details become available.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/