Elmwood Park votes no increase in water bills
Updated: September 10, 2012 12:54PM
ELMWOOD PARK— Residents will not see a hike in their water rates next year.
The Elmwood Park Village Board voted unanimously Monday to keep the rates stable for another year, averting a 15 percent increase in residents’ water bills in 2013.
Earlier this year the village board voted to raise water rates over the next four years to reflect a water rate increase that Chicago had imposed on the suburbs.
When the village announced the potential increase, Elmwood Park residents showed up at meetings stating their dissatisfaction.
Elmwood Park Mayor Peter Silvestri had said that each year they would study the need for increases.
Last week, he said they found a way to hold costs steady, at least for 2013.
“We’re freezing water rates because we sat down and worked it out,” he said. “We took a comprehensive look at the whole thing.”
Elmwood Park Village Manager Paul Volpe said the freeze would not hurt the village financially.
“He (Silvestri) asked me to look at this and see if we can avoid another increase with the understanding we have a number of things to do with the village’s water system,” he said.
Volpe noted an aging water system and a $19.7 million water mitigation plan in the works to alleviate flooding in the village; however, he said, the village still has enough money in the water fund to give the residents a break on their water bill next year.
“It’s in the water fund,” he said. “We’re not going to burden the people unnecessarily.”
During the meeting Volpe showed how the village could survive without a water rate increase.
Silvestri said he is encouraged by the support he received from the board.
“It’s about doing what’s right for the community,” he said. “If we can save taxpayers money on their tax bill and their water bill, we will do it.”
Volpe said he along with the village board will continue to look at village funds to see if residents can continue to get a break on their water bills in the future.
“We’re going to look at it each and every year,” he said.