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EM Planning to Replace Lead Water Lines

Theen Moy Photography

As East Moline works on plans to eliminate lead water service lines, a key question it has to answer is how to pay for it. Tuesday night, City Administrator Doug Maxeiner will ask members of the city council for their recommendations.

There are an estimated 1,000 to 1,500 water customers in the city with lead lines, and alternatives include charging each customer several thousand dollars each to replace them, or to charge all water customers a small "compliance fee."

"So if we spread this over a larger number it becomes more manageable, but then it's a question of, is that the fairer thing to do, is that what the water utility wants to do moving forward. Those are questions for the city council."

Complicating the decision is the fact that most of the lead lines serve low and moderate income residents of East Moline.

State law requires the city to submit an inventory of lead lines, and a replacement plan, by the spring of next year (April, 2024). It will then have until 2044 to replace them.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.