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updated: 2/12/2014 12:16 AM

Carpentersville pans two-tier water rate hikes

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A proposal to establish a two-tier water rate system in Carpentersville that charges certain users more money, was "flawed from the get-go," according to one trustee, and ultimately went nowhere Tuesday.

Officials presented the proposed system during an audit and finance commission meeting. It detailed how households that use up to 10,000 gallons of water or less would pay a lower rate and save about $47 a year.

Those using more than 10,000 gallons would also see their rates reduced, but would still pay more than people who use less.

The analysis showed 61.7 percent of the 286 residents surveyed for the study use less than 10,000 gallons per billing cycle.

The village is trying to generate enough money in the water and sewer fund to pay to replace old equipment and old pipes and other projects -- there is not enough money in the fund now to get all of that done, officials said.

"The butcher's bill is coming due, folks," Village Manager J. Mark Rooney warned Tuesday. "And it'll be hard to be here when it does."

After much debate, the village imposed a five-year water rate hike in 2011.

They called for a 20 percent increase the first year, a 19 percent increase the second year, a 15 percent hike the third year and three percent increases in the fourth and fifth years.

People have complained about the water rate hikes for two years and the village was looking at ways to ease the pain on residents.

"We want to save the average Joe in town some money," said Sean McGovern, the village's management analyst.

But Village President Ed Ritter said the proposed system would unfairly penalize businesses who would most likely pay more than residents.

Trustee Pat Schultz said the village won't stand for a two-tiered system and that the village needs to find another answer.

"We need to keep studying it, this is flawed from the get-go," Trustee Pat Schultz said, adding that people could always cut back on their water and pay less money. "It's not going to fly and we can't be doing this."

Rooney said he and the staff will research other options to present to the commission.

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