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updated: 7/5/2011 3:59 PM

Long Grove subdivision could get lake water

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A Long Grove subdivision now served by private water wells would get Lake Michigan water under a plan being considered by the Lake County Board.

The proposal affects 118 homes in the Herons Landing neighborhood, which is east of Route 83 and north of Route 22, Lake County Public Works Director Peter Kolb said.

The subdivision's homeowners association had requested Lake Michigan water service from the county, Kolb said.

The residents' current drinking water is safe but is high in sulfides and other minerals, he said.

"It's just not the same quality as Lake Michigan water," Kolb said.

The subdivision was developed in the late 1980s. Each of the homes is equipped with water-treatment systems that are expensive to maintain and operate, said David Wolfe, president of the Herons Landing homeowners association.

"We would like to discontinue use of the costly treatment systems for our potable water use and still be able to use our wells for lawn irrigation," Wolfe said.

County officials received approval from the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency, which oversees such services, to hook up the homes to the lake through a water system based in nearby Vernon Hills.

The county will design, construct and operate the water system.

The total cost for each home is $27,500. Residents can pay the money in one lump sum or over 30 years as part of their property-tax bills, Kolb said.

Homeowners who choose to pay over time will see fees of about $2,100 annually, or $63,000 over 30 years, Kolb said.

Despite the cost, a "substantial majority" of Herons Landing homeowners support the plan, Wolfe said.

"We believe it will be worthwhile in the long run," he said. "The Lake Michigan municipal water system will benefit our community and eventually increase the value of our homes."

The village board already has authorized an intergovernmental agreement with the county. It's now up to the county board to approve the deal.

The county's public works committee will discuss the proposal at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the county government center in Waukegan. The county's finance committee will talk about the plan at 1 p.m., also in Waukegan.

The full board could vote on the deal Tuesday, July 12.