Cities Passing Off Higher Water Rates to Residents

May 05, 2010

Many DuPage County residents are going to see an increase in their water bills.

The DuPage Water Commission, the agency that supplies Lake Michigan water to the western suburbs, raised its rates on May 1 after it lost close to $70 million due to financial mismanagement. As a result, many cities are being forced to raise residential water rates.

It's going to cost some DuPage County residents more money to water their lawns this summer.

On Tuesday, the Naperville City Council voted 8-0 to increase rates to its residents 4.9 percent starting on June 1.

Officials claim that Naperville has had the lowest water rates of any DuPage County community with Lake Michigan water, but they also say this increase won’t be the last.

“Believe me, it’s going to have to go higher,” said Councilman Bob Fieseler. “It’ll come in two or three chunks in six-month intervals over the next year and a half. We need to stay on top of this. We’re going to need to raise our water rates right along with them because we don’t have the money to subsidize this stuff. The costs have to be passed on.”

Businesses in Naperville will see a water-rate increase of 5.2 percent.

More than 30 towns and unincorporated areas of DuPage County are going through the same thing, and residents will be facing increases in Downers Grove (9 percent), Willowbrook (20 percent), Elmhurst (15 percent), Darien (35 percent), Hoffman Estates (5.2 percent), Glen Ellyn (10 percent), Bartlett (14 percent), Roselle, Westmont and Glendale Heights, just to name a few.

The city of Chicago, which provides water to the DuPage Water Commission, has increased its rates 40 percent over the past three years.

Some state officials are calling for the elimination of the DuPage Water Commission. The Illinois House last week voted to preserve but restructure the agency.

Categories: Dupage County, Economy

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