Watchdog group: Chatham defrauded, doesn't get money's worth from water plant
The Edgar County Watchdogs reported in Illinois Leaks last week that the South Sangamon Water Commission (SSWC) had misrepresented the municipal bonds sold for the water plant.
The bonds were sold with the expectation that the plant could produce 3.3 million gallons per day, but the plant capacity is actually only 2.2 million gallons daily.
When the Chatham Village Board was informed of the discrepancies in the bonds, the board did not respond. The $53 million in bonds leaves village residents in debt. If they pull out of the agreement, the bond payments will be taken from real estate taxes.
In addition to the alleged bond fraud, the water appears to have corrosion issues. Residents have complained of hair loss, psoriasis and eczema, as well as the necessity of frequent replacements of water heaters and faucets. Lab data and subsequent records showed that SSWC has been attempting to adjust the corrosive elements in the water since 2012.
The watchdog group blasted the village board and SSWC, saying, "The Chatham Village Board and SSWC need a lesson on ethics and data integrity. Perhaps they need to look up the meaning of 'FRAUD.' It means the wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in a financial or personal gain."