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updated: 4/17/2013 12:10 PM

Glen Ellyn, Lombard approve new wastewater cost split

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Glen Ellyn and Lombard have a new agreement on how to pay for improvements to the wastewater management infrastructure the villages share, updating a 15-year-old contract that governs the Glenbard Wastewater Authority.

The agreement forms a compromise between two possible methods of splitting the costs of capital improvements to wastewater facilities and benefits both villages financially, said Lombard Trustee Peter Breen. It was approved Monday by both village boards and the committee that oversees the wastewater authority.

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The capital improvement funding formula in the new agreement includes both a fixed cost split portion, and a portion that will vary based on the percentage of wastewater flow that comes from each village. Glen Ellyn and Lombard each will pay a fixed 25 percent of yearly capital costs, while the towns will split the remaining 50 percent proportionally based on flow.

"Both sides ran the numbers long-term and realized this helps," Breen said. "We're able to plan and smooth out the costs over the long term."

In the authority's $8.5 million budget for 2014, capital costs to be split by the new formula total $4.5 million. Lombard historically accounts for a greater percentage of the wastewater authority's flow, typically between 53 and 56 percent, according to a memo from Glen Ellyn Village Manager Mark Franz.

Glen Ellyn Village President Mark Pfefferman said Lombard originally wanted to pay only for capital improvements within its borders, but Glen Ellyn suggested each town should contribute proportionally based on its percentage of flow.

Breen said the solution, negotiated over several months, combines the best of both ideas and may allow the villages to save money and refund it back to residents, who pay for Glenbard Wastewater Authority services as part of their water bills.

The towns had been looking to update the 1998 agreement that governs the wastewater authority, which serves about 22 square miles, including unincorporated areas near Glen Ellyn and Lombard, since about 2010.

"The issue of who should pay for what in terms of the capital costs really came to a head as several improvements were needed on certain facilities recently within the last few years," Breen said, noting the St. Charles Road and Valley View lift stations, which pump wastewater for DuPage County residents north and south of Glen Ellyn, respectively.

The agreement also specifies that all operating and administrative costs will be divided proportionally based on flow, allows Lombard to have a role in the performance evaluation of Executive Director Erik Lanphier and allows the wastewater authority to retain an independent attorney.

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