Back to back storytelling events in April at Homewood Public Library and Homewood Stories

With the average water consumption for each house in Flossmoor at about 27,000 gallons every three months, a proposed water rate could increase the average homeowner’s water bill by $28.62 per quarter, or about $10 a month.

Flossmoor water rates are likely to go up 9.1 percent for the new fiscal year as village officials try to head off a deficit of more than a quarter-million dollars in the water and sewer fund.

Village Attorney Ed McCormick Monday was directed to prepare an ordinance spelling out the new water rate following a presentation by Flossmoor Finance Director Scott Bordui. Village board members agreed with Bordui’s 9.1 percent recommendation.

If passed, the water rate will climb from $9.07 to $10.08 per thousand gallons, and the sewer rate would go from $2.57 to $2.62 for that amount. Village board members are expected to vote on the proposed rate increase at the April 20 village board meeting. The ordinance is expected to specify that the new rates will be backdated to April 1, when a new quarterly billing period began.

Adjustments to the village water rate are part of the Flossmoor’s annual municipal budget process, which is also to be completed in two weeks. The new village budget is to take effect with the start of the 2016 fiscal year on May 1.

In recent years, Flossmoor has been hit with extremely large rate increases from Chicago, the source of the village’s Lake Michigan water. The city imposed a 25 percent water rate hike in 2012 and 15 percent increases for the next three years. Chicago’s 2015 increase was added to Flossmoor’s water rate when the current budget was approved last April.

So far, the city has not announced a 2016 rate increase for Flossmoor and other suburban water users. But it’s likely that another substantial increase is coming, officials said. Flossmoor is also facing a July 1 water rate increase from Harvey, Bordui said, but it’s less than 1 percent. Harvey is Flossmoor’s direct link to Chicago water, with Homewood also serving as a conduit for the village’s system.

Bordui presented four rate options based on the projected finances in the water and sewer fund for the coming year. He recommended the 9.1 increase as the best option since it would cover an expected $267,105 deficit in the water and sewer fund. Without such an infusion of revenues, Bordui said, the reserves in that fund would fall to an unacceptable level.

Flossmoor is in the third year of its water main replacement project, which is designed to combat leaks throughout the village that, over the years, have led to a severe water loss from the municipal system.

“Overall,  these are poor numbers which demonstrate the huge compounding impact of the Chicago increases, the impact of the village’s continued water losses and the reasons for updating water infrastructure,” Bordui said.

Community Calendar

News by email

Subscribe to The Latest (daily headlines email)

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Free weekly newsletter

Subscribe to The Weeks (weekly newsletter)

* indicates required

Recent video: Progress on police reform, part 2