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Water Bills to Increase 25 Percent Next Year

As the cost of water in the City of Chicago rises, so will Evergreen Park’s.

Evergreen Park residents may want to curb their water usage.

Starting Jan. 1 it will cost 25 percent more to fill up that glass when the city of Chicago increases its rates. Because Evergreen Park receives its water from the city, the rates are rising here as well.

“(Chicago) is claiming that they need to do infrastructure improvements. That’s the reason for these huge increases in the water,” said Mayor James Sexton. “Water is starting to become like gold or like oil.”

Residents currently pay $5.60 per 1000 gallons of water used. After the first of the year, the rate will jump to $7.00 per 1000 gallons of water.

Sewer usage rose to $1.70 per 1000 gallons of water.

“Those type of increases over the past years has made water a commodity,” Sexton said.

A few years ago, water bills went up 50 percent. “They are now proposing to take it up another 70 percent in the next four years,” he said.

Trustees unanimously voted to pass Ordinance 19-2011 increasing the water rates and Ordinance 20-2011 increasing the sewer rates at . Sexton emphasized that it was a Chicago mandate.

“We wouldn’t raise the rates if the city wasn’t raising them,” said William Lorenz, head of the village’s .

Angus Macgyver December 20, 2011 at 08:15 PM
Part 1 of 2: The City of Chicago, EP's provider/source of water, increased its rates and therefore we, as the end users, have to pay more for it; that part is understood. Why however, did the EP trustees also increase the sewer rate last evening? There is no linkage between Chicago's water rate increase and last evening's EP sewer rate increase. One might argue, with water more expensive, EP residents may decrease water consumption and discharge less into the sewer system, thus taxing the system less and maintaining or decreasing its operating costs. Ms. Young’s article stated the “water bills” were increased 50% several years ago, apparently attributing the statement to Mr. Sexton. Have the sewer costs also increased a corresponding percentage in the interim timeframe? Sewers are a fixed infrastructure resource and not subject to commodity pricing variances such as water. What cost saving or cost containment measures has the Village instituted to offset these current and future costs? What are their long range plans for water, sewer and other critical municipal services? Or, is the plan to continue increasing rates until the current economic conditions subside?
Angus Macgyver December 20, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Part 2 of 2: Why aren’t these plans posted on the village’s website? Frankly, other than providing directory guidance to village offices, not much substantive information is posted on the website, which is disappointing. From reading this and other articles on village governance, my sense is that village trustees and elected officials are simply shrugging their shoulders and saying, “What are we to do”? I remain skeptical of the need to increase the sewer rates and suspect this increase is a harbinger of other unsubstantiated increases to come.
Renita Young December 29, 2011 at 05:47 AM
Hi Angus, Thank you for reading and commenting. These are all very good questions and viewpoints--some that I didn't initially take into consideration. I will circle back and ask. It has always been our goal to help residents become more informed on the issues of their local government (and help foster 'open' government), and this is a topic many took issue with. Thanks and Happy New Year to you!
John Shal February 15, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Hi: Did you ever post a reply?

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