By Bob Balgemann
BELVIDERE – Former Belvidere Alderman Andy Racz continues his quest for a neighborhood park to be created at Christi Lane and Highland Street.
His most recent appearance was at the March 14 Committee of the Whole meeting, when he asked for the city to work with the Belvidere Park District on such a project. He provided a chronology of his various visits to city hall and elsewhere in support of the improvement:
Oct. 26
On Oct. 26, Racz made a presentation to the city council about the proposal. He suggested the council approve a resolution, donating the property to the park district for development.
Jan. 12
On Jan. 12, Racz appeared at a park district meeting to promote cooperation among local governments with the possibility of a public-private partnership to make the proposal a reality.
Jan. 25
On Jan. 25, Racz met with interim city-county planning director Kathy Miller plus the mayor, an architect and the fire chief to discuss the park idea.
Feb. 23
On Feb. 23, Racz made a presentation to the Belvidere Lions Club, which has expressed an interest in improving the property.
So, why was Racz back before city officials?
He answered his own question, saying, “To keep you informed and reiterate the need for a park at that location.”
He asked for a resolution in support of developing a neighborhood park on that property. Such a showing from the city would give impetus to a community effort.
“That would be positive,” he said of approving a resolution. “It would be doing a good thing.”
Mayor Mike Chamberlain said there have been discussions about creating a park at that location. But he said the park district typically does not deal with property that small.
So, he plans to ask the parks and conservation foundation so see if it would be interested in working with the city of such a proposal.
High water bill
In other action at the March 14 meeting, a high water bill led aldermen to agree a warning note should be included with upcoming mailings about what could happen if a resident’s water softener malfunctioned and deposited excess water into the sanitary sewer system.
A resident with a usual water bill of $94.66 was charged $752.84 for using 17,800 gallons during the month of February, well in excess of the normal 1,160 gallons.
The problem was that his softener makes little noise and he didn’t hear it running continuously.
Public Works Director Brent Anderson told the committee his department received a high usage warning for the previous day’s activity at that address, and immediately sent an employee to see what was happening. The water was running with no one at home, so it was shut off at the street.
“We met the property owner that afternoon and it was determined that the water softener was stuck in the recirculation mode,” he said.
He recommended that the bill not be reduced since the additional water went into the sanitary sewer system and was treated the same as inflow from throughout the city.
“It (treatment) doesn’t differentiate between clean water and dirty water,” he said. “It goes through the same process.”
He added the city in the past had worked out a payment arrangement for residents with unusually high water bills.
Anderson said the resident’s water had been shut off to stop the continuous flow of water. In response to a question from within the committee, he said there was no shutoff fee because that only is assessed for non-payment of a bill.
By a show of hands, aldermen agreed the director should work with the resident on a payment schedule.
As for a caution for residents to be mindful of their water softeners, Anderson said there was room on each water bill for such a notice.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.