(MT. VERNON, IL) — The City of Mt. Vernon’s push to sell its water and sewer system will have to go on without one of its key players, as City Manager Ron Niebert has accepted a job in Florida. Newly appointed assistant city manager Mary Ellen Bechtel will replace Neibert, who was in Central Florida Wednesday to accept a position as city manager of Eustis, which is just outside Orlando. City leaders currently want to sell Mt. Vernon’s water system to privately owned Illinois American Water for $30 million. Neibert has been a key contributor in the process, but may not be around to see it through. Under the current deal, Neibert is scheduled to officially start as Eustis city manager on May 4th. The city council on Monday agreed to table the proposal until a later date, and scheduled a public workshop on the issue for 3 p.m. Monday at the Roland Lewis Building. The city has claimed that it cannot afford to implement necessary repairs and improvements to the water system, without imposing a 60 percent rate increase on customers. Requests have been made to the city asking for the numbers used to come up with the 60 percent figure. We will give you those figures if and when the city provides them.

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