CITY OF TUSCOLA RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC AGGREGATION INFORMATION

In 2012, the residents of the city of Tuscola approved a referendum authorizing the city officials to bid and enter into agreements with electricity suppliers to provide electricity to all residential and small commercial residents. The City Council authorized Good Energy as the consultant to bid the electricity to suppliers.   The move initially saved the citizens approximately 30% off the standard Ameren rates.    When the rates were re-bid in early 2016, Homefield Energy was again the low bidder.  While the rates are higher than the prior contract, due to the current market environment, the new rate will still save the citizens of Tuscola approximately 13% off the standard Ameren charges.  The new rates will be in effect from June 2016 to June 2019.  If residents want to accept this lower cost, while still receiving their billings from Ameren, they don’t need to do anything.

If a resident does NOT want to accept the lower cost, and instead wants to continue with Ameren as their supplier at their current rate, the resident must mail in an “opt-out” card to Homefield Energy. This card was provided to each resident via the mailed packet of information. Any information a resident needs concerning the opt-out can be obtained by calling Homefield Energy at 1-866-694-1262 or emailing at CustCare@HomefieldEnergy.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Letter mailed to Tuscola residential customers with information:
Electric Aggregation letter to residents 032016

Good Energy Consultants

The Committee for Municipal Choice

Homefield Energy information specific to Tuscola customers

CITY COUNCIL

Q. When and where are the City Council meetings?
A. The City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of every month beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Tuscola City Hall, 214 N. Main. The pending meeting agenda, currently approved minutes, and yearly schedule of meetings is available by clicking here.

Q. How can I be placed on the agenda for a City Council meeting?
A. You may stop by City Hall to complete a form to be placed on the agenda. The form is also available on this web site on the City Council page. Forms must be returned to City Hall by noon on the Friday prior to the requested meeting.

COMMUNITY BUILDING

Q. How do I rent the community building?
A. Contact City Hall (253-2112).

Q. What is the rental fee?
A. Click on the link to Community Building Informatio
There is an additional $50 surcharge for events with alcohol.

Q. What is the size of the community building?
A. The community building is an air conditioned building with an auditorium measuring 68′ x 70′ = 4,760 sq. ft.; occupancy load with chairs only – 475; with tables and chairs – 300. For more details about fire safety and safe use of the this building, see Exhibit B • Community Building Rules

COMPLAINTS

Q. Where do I call to report a complaint regarding weeds or trash on properties within the City Limits?
A. All trash complaints are to be handled by the Tuscola Police Department (253-2351). Complaint forms are available by clicking here. All tall grass and weed complaints, call Tuscola City Hall, 217-253-2112

Q. Where do I call to report a complaint regarding junk buildings or fences within the City Limits?
A. All complaints of this type are to be handled by the building inspector at City Hall (253- 2112). Complaint forms are available by clicking here.

Q. Who should I contact with all other complaints?
A. You may contact our City Administrator at City Hall (253-2112) or your council person. Council members are listed on the Officials web page.

GARBAGE/LANDSCAPE WASTE

Q. When is pickup day for garbage?
A. Pickup day for garbage is Wednesday. Advanced Disposal Services request that garbage be placed out for pickup by 6:00 a.m.
If your collection day falls on a holiday, then collection will be the next day. If your collection day falls after the holiday, please put out your trash on the regular day, but note that pick-up may be delayed one day.
Their holidays include: Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

Q. How do I acquire a garbage tote on wheels?
A.You must call Advanced Disposal (217-345-7404 or 800-469-7404) to rent a garbage tote on wheels. Advanced Disposal will bill you direct once a year.

Q. What is the fee for garbage collection?
A. The fee is $12.87 per month, which is included on your water bill.

Q. Who do I call if my garbage was not picked up?
A. Advanced Disposal Services, 217-345-7404

Q. How do I dispose of old appliances or other large items?
A. Tickets for large items may be purchased at Tuscola Do-It-Best. The cost is $15.00. Once a ticket is purchased, it should be placed on the item and put out on the normal garbage pick-up day.

Q. Does the city, Advanced Disposal Services, provide for recycling?
A.Yes, Advanced Disposal offers curbside recycling to residents located in the City limits of Tuscola. Call Advanced Disposal at 217-345-7404 for more information and rates.

Q. Where can I take my yard waste?
A. Yard waste may be taken to the landscape waste facility located on the first road south of the railroad track going east off of Prairie Street. No limbs over 4 inches in diameter and no plastic bags are allowed.

Q. What are the hours of the landscape waste facility?
A. Monday thru Friday – 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday – 7:00 a.m. to noon

Q. Does the City pick up yard waste?
A. No, the City does not pick up yard waste unless it is storm debris. Storm debris must by placed out by the street shortly following the storm.

Q. Does the City allow the burning of trash or landscape waste?
A. No, city codes and state laws do not allow burning of any material within the city or the city’s zoning jurisdiction of 1 1/2 miles. Exceptions: Recreational fires (usually for cooking). Approved fireplaces and wood burning stoves. Closed furnace incinerators approved by the fire chief. Environmental burns approved by the fire chief. Contact information on the Fire Department page.

PARK AND POOL

Q. Can I reserve a pavilion at the park?
A. The park pavilions are on a “first-come; first-served” basis. No reservations are taken or required.

Q. How do I reserve the pool for a private pool party?
A. Call the Tuscola pool at 253-4932.

Q. What are the pool hours?
A. Pool hours are 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The pool does close due to inclement weather and should the temperature fall below 70 degrees.

Q. What are the park hours?
A. Ervin Park shall be open to the public daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday of each week, throughout the months of April through October of each year. However, the opening and closing of the park may be accelerated or delayed by the City Council, depending upon the weather conditions.

PERMITS

Q. What kind of building related construction permits does the City require?
A. Building and Electrical Permits. Plumbing and HVAC are inspected but not permitted at this time. Go to the Building Department web page and download the “Contractor Information” page for complete information.

Q. Who should I contact for a building or electrical permit?
A. The Building Inspector at City Hall (253-2112). Applications for all permits as well as other contractor codes, fees, and requirements are available on the Building Department web page.

Permit fees may be paid online Click here.

Q. What are the required setbacks from property lines, for structures, fences, yard sheds, etc. in the city’s zoning jurisdiction (that includes a mile and one half outside the corporate boundaries)?
A. In Residential Zoning Districts: Main structure: 25’ front, rear, and any street-facing yard. 8’ side yards are required, 10’ from alleys. If the lot or subdivision was recorded before 12/31/53, a 25% reduction of the above setbacks is allowed. Accessory Buildings and other structures are not allowed in the front yard setback or street facing yard, except a fence that does not materially impede vision or one not more than 30″ tall. Otherwise, setbacks for accessory structures are 10’ rear and alleys and 6’ side yards (and must be at least 5’ from the main structure) and require a footing and foundation at, or below frost level (32 inches in Central IL) Exception – if 400 square feet or less AND 10 feet or less in height, they may be 3 feet from rear and side PLs and 10 feet from alley PLs, and do not require a footing and foundation below frost level.

All other Zoning Districts: Go to the Table & Height & Area Table in the City Ordinances or check with the building official.

Q. Do I need a permit to sell fireworks or discharge fireworks for display?
A. Yes, and the permit application is available on the Fire Department page, Fire Prevention Tab.
Note: The City of Tuscola does not permit or allow “Consumer Fireworks” or “Consumer Fireworks Displays

Q. What is the Tuscola Building Department ISO Rating?
A. ISO 4

WATER/SEWER

Q. What are the Water and Sewer Tap Fees?
A. Water taps – $725.00 for a tap of a ¾” lateral line (from the main) , up to 40 feet, and the meter. Add $300.00 if more than 40 feet or lateral line traverses a paved street. Larger than ¾”, will be actual cost of installing the meter and appurtenances.
Sewer taps – Residential $250.00. Add $40.00 per unit or room for multi-family and motels. Commercial $300.00. Industrial $500.00

Q. How do I apply for water service?
A. An “Application for Municipal Water Service” must be completed and returned to City Hall, 214 N. Main. Driver’s license (or state ID) number is needed. If renting, a $100.00 deposit is required. Applications are available on the Water Department page.

Q. When is my deposit returned?
A. Deposits are returned after twenty-four months of good pay history, should you move out of town, or purchase a home.

Q. When is my water/sewer bill due?
A. Bills are due on the 10th of the month. As of the 11th, a 10% penalty is applied. The 20th of the month is disconnect day.

Q. Should my water be disconnected due to nonpayment, what are the requirements to have it reconnected?
A. To have water reconnected due to nonpayment, the amount of the bill is required along with a $25.00 disconnect fee. A $100.00 deposit will also be required, if one is not already on file.

Q. Where should I pay my water bill?
A. You may pay your water bill at any banking facility in town, or at City Hall, 214 N. Main. Should you pay at City Hall, you may pay in person, or use our drop box. You may also pay online here or by direct bank payment .

Q. Can I pay my water/sewer bill with a credit card?
A.Yes, we take Visa, Discover, American Express, and Master Card. There is a 2.75% (+ .50 if under $100) service charge when using a credit card and you must present a photo ID.

Q. Can I pay my water/sewer bill by direct bank payment?
A. Yes, go to the Water Department page, and download the Direct Pay Authorization Form, and submit it to the City of Tuscola.

Q. What should I do if I cannot afford to pay my water bill?
A. If you are unable to pay the entire bill before disconnection, we can make a payment agreement to defer 1/2 of the total amount due. The agreement must be made at City Hall prior to disconnection of service. The balance of the bill must be paid before the end of the month in which the agreement was made. A customer is allowed 3 payment agreements within a twelve month period. If a customer has a hardship and cannot pay even 1/2 of the bill, we will refer them to a charitable organization to apply for assistance.

Q. If I fill a swimming pool, do I have to pay the sewer portion of water used to fill the pool?
A. Yes, we do not give discounts on the water or sewer portion of your water bill due to the filling of a swimming pool.

Q. Who should I contact if I have a water leak after hours or on the weekend?
A. You may contact the Douglas County Sheriff’s office (253-2913). They will page our City Services Foreman.

Q. Are water meter readings ever estimated?
A. We have completed installation of autoread meters for all residential and commercial accounts eliminating the need for estimation due to inclement weather. Should there be a mechanical/electronic malfunction at the same time we have inclement weather, meters would be estimated.

Q. Who should I contact if I am having problems with my sewer lines?
A. Please contact City Hall (253-2112) prior to contacting a repair service. Our sewer department will be able to verify if the problem is on the City’s side or if you need to contact a repair service.

Boil Order FAQ.pdf

OTHER

Q. Contact numbers for Tuscola Utilities?
A. City of Tuscola – Water and Sewer Department- 217-253-2112
Ameren- Gas and Electric- Residential 1-800-755-5000 and Business 1-800-232-2477
Frontier- Land Line Telephone Service 1-877-462-4008
Advanced Disposal- Garbage Service- 1-800-469-7404
Bryant’s Recycling- Rural Tuscola- 1-217-253-2477
JULIE- Utility Locating- 1-800-892-0123

Q. Where can I find the City Ordinances?
A. Go to City Ordinances.

Q. Who should I contact if there is a loose dog in my neighborhood?
A. Call the animal shelter (253-4921). After hours, contact the City of Tuscola Police Dept. (253-2351) or the Douglas County Sheriff’s office (253-2913).

Q. Where do I pay a speeding ticket?
A. All traffic violations are to be paid at the Douglas County Circuit Clerk’s office (253-2352) located in the Douglas County Courthouse.

Q. What is the telephone number for the Driver’s License Examining Station (DMV)?
A. 253-2813

Q. How do I apply for membership on the fire department?
A. Go to the fire department page to download an application form.

Q. What is the Tuscola Fire Department ISO Rating?
A. ISO 4

Q. What does the “StormReady Community” sign posted as you enter Tuscola, mean?
A. Tuscola is one of 33 communities in the State of IL who have this designation. StormReady communities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through better planning, education, awareness, and warning systems. In order to obtain the designation the city had to meet stringent criteria. For more detailed information about this designation, visit the National Weather Service “Storm Ready” link.

Q. What is the Tuscola Building Department ISO Rating?
A. ISO 4

Q. What is the sales tax rate in Tuscola?
A. 7.75%

Q. Who should I call to report a streetlight that is out?
A. Most streetlights should be reported to Ameren CIPS (1-888-789-2477) unless it is one of the decorative lights on Main Street. In that case, you would contact City Hall (253- 2112).