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Five Towns Form Northern Will County Water Agency

Bolingbrook, Homer Glen, Lemont, Romeoville and Woodridge have joined together to control water rate increases and explore the feasibility of purchasing an Illinois American Water pipeline.

Five Will County communities have joined to form a new water agency and purchase a pipeline from Illinois American Water, officials announced Monday.

The villages of , Homer Glen, , and are now part of the Northern Will County Water Agency. The first meeting was held June 11.

The agency will now likely look to take action against Illinois American Water and overtake the pipeline that carries Lake Michigan water from Bedford Park to the west suburbs via eminent domain.

The communities have been been meeting for several years to discuss the feasibility of purchasing the pipeline and stabilizing rates for residents, according to a press release.

In August, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed off on Senate Bill 83, which allowed the communities to formalize the consortium.

Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves said the agency will work with attorneys in the coming months to come up with an offer to purchase the pipeline.

"It's going to take some time, but we're finally taking the steps to come up with a dollar figure to bring to Illinois American Water," Reaves said Monday.

Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar says the move will , but Illinois American Water says the agency will likely rack up attorney fees while using eminent domain.

"History has shown using eminent domain to acquire a utility system is extremely expensive, risky and a divisive endeavor that will increase the costs to the public," said IAW President Karla Olson Teasley in a statement.

The new agency will primarily serve residents in Bolingbrook. The other four towns each have a much smaller population served by the pipeline, officials said.

Claar and Homer Glen Mayor Jim Daley will serve as co-chairs of the agency. Reaves will serve as the vice-chair, Romeoville Mayor John Noak as secretary and Woodridge Mayor Bill Murphy as treasurer.

The agency's next meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Sept. 10  at Homer Glen Village Hall, 14933 Founders Crossing.

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Editor's Note: Brian Feldt contributed to this report.

DD June 20, 2012 at 02:43 PM
It’s about time. I was comparing water bills with my family in Aurora and we pay about $100 a month (3 people living in the house)/. Aurora with 4 people pays around $40 a month!!! The price of the water along with our taxes we pay is out of control. With these types of prices you would think that we live in a great crime free town but don't travel to the Eastside of town. I have noticed the crime spreading over to the west side of town over the past couple of months. Would love too sell the house to get out of here but I think we are stuck here for at least 5 more years.
SLAG June 20, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Please hurry w/the switchover. My last bill was for $64 and I'm only one person in my home + I haven't even watered my lawn so far this year!
Joe Schmo June 21, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Just FYI, comparing water bills with cities that own the water systems is not apples to apples. Aurora's water bill might be $40, but their taxes are probably helping pay for their system. Plus, I don't think Aurora has Lake Michigan water which is a whole other issue. If you look on the water bill, about 25-30 bucks come from purchasing Lake Michigan water. The thing is, this agency will only affect that section of the bill. The agency will still have to buy the water but IAW will still be the water provider unless the cities themselves buy the system. The only way to get rid of IAW is to buy the whole system which this agency can't do. It looks good for these mayors saying they are fighting the big bad water company, when in fact it's a big waste of time and resources. If they really wanted to get rid of the water company, each mayor would have to go after the system in their respective town.

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