Missed one step in water rate story

Posted10/16/2012 4:37 AM

Missed one step in water rate story

This is regarding the Daily Herald Sept. 26 story, "Why suburban water rates are skyrocketing" by Jake Griffin, who I consider to be one of the best reporters in the area. Mr. Griffin's articles are usually very accurate, but I believe that he missed one step in his article that must be added:

By 2016 all water commission debt will be paid off and the $40 million of working capital will be replaced as stated in the article. However, at the same time, the new state law reducing the one-quarter percent sales tax which is paid by most county residents and directed to the DuPage Water Commission will cease to exist. A good thing, I believe.

Nonetheless, this will require the water commission to replace a $30 million dollar per year revenue stream that has been in place since the commission's creation and used to lower the actual water rates to all 25 participating municipalities. It just so happens that the rate increase recently established and the additional rate increases in the next two years almost equates the $30 million the water commission will be losing in revenue stream as of June 1, 2016.

So the current proposed increases will not only pay to reduce the debt to zero, establish working capital but will also cover the quarter percent sales tax reduction. For the first time in the history of the DuPage Water Commission the cost of water will be paid for by the rate payers/users and not subsidized through a countywide sales tax.

I would like to thank the newspaper for doing such a good job of monitoring the units of government and the appointed commissions in DuPage County. Keep up the good work.

Richard Furstenau


District 5 DuPage Water Commission member

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