BALDWIN — Village of Baldwin residents will see a 5 percent increase in water and sewer usage fees beginning in the December billing cycle. During the council meeting on Monday, in a 3-1 vote, board members approved increasing the water and sewer usage by five percent, which would make the cost under $1 per 1,000 gallons of water used in a month, said Village President Jim Truxton.

“The base rate will not increase, just usage fees at this time,” Truxton said, adding in a couple of years the council could look at ready-to-serve fees and see if there would need to be further increases. “The increase is based on rate studies from last winter. We need to continue to build up reserves. Current bills are being covered, but if something happens, we need to be able to step up and replace it.”

The increase also would help cover costs such as rehab for water towers, Truxton added, saying the water tower at the school will need rehab soon.

The village will send out notices to village residents, and after 30 days, the increase will go into effect.

Truxton said if residents are seeing their water and sewer bill higher than usual, the added costs could be from a possible water leak, and to contact the village to check into the matter.

Also during the meeting, Truxton said realtors were contacting the village about seeing if there were locations to develop medical marijuana facilities. Currently, there is no medical marijuana ordinance in the village.

Cindy Wotila, legal counsel for the village, said one of the advantages of passing a medical marijuana ordinance would be the village would have control or limit the types of licensing allowed.

The possibility of adopting a medical marijuana ordinance will go before the village planning and zoning board for further study and discussion.

In other business:

• Lake County Road Commission has storm damage “pretty well” cleaned up along the streets, so now individual property owners are left with cleanup, Truxton reported.

“The streets didn’t take a real beating during the storm, and that can be attributed to how well they were instructed when the sewer system was put in. These are Class-A roads,” he said.

• The council approved appointing Dave Lewellyn to the Village of Baldwin Downtown Development Authority as a village resident who also resides in Webber Township. The term is to be specified upon further research.

• Baldwin Fire Chief Jeremy Anderson said this week is Fire Prevention Week.

“It is that time of year again to check furnaces and wood stoves,” he said. “Keep chimneys clean and make sure smoke detectors are in working order.”