Friday, September 14, 2012

DuPage Water Commission taking on Rahm Emanuel

Does DuPage Water Commission Chairman Jim Zay really want to take on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel?   Before we talk about Chicago lets talk about DuPage because this is where we live. 

I understand that DuPage Water Commission Chairman Jim Zay would like The City of Chicago to create a biannual report assuring DuPage that the revenue from water rate increases would be used to benefit the entire water system and nothing else.  Good luck with that.

I wonder where Mr. Zay was when the DuPage Water Commission continually lowered the water rates to the municipalities and gave the municipalities rebates totaling over 100 million dollars.  Mr. Zay never questioned what the revenue would be used for.  The municipalities received that revenue cart blanche.  As the municipal water rate went down, with the exception of Naperville, DuPage citizens water rate went up.  

Considering the low water rate and the generous rebates one would think that the municipal water systems would be in pristine condition and that they would have an adequate water reserve.  Many municipal  water systems are in need of repair and are lacking adequate water storage.  Naperville has the majority of the required amount of water storage in DuPage

While  serving on the DuPage Water Commission I was against and voted against the rebates and rate reductions for many reasons.  One reason was I wanted to be assured that the money from the generous rebates and rate reductions went  back to the residents in lower water rates and/or to know that the money was being used to maintain and update the water systems. 

When I asked for this to be a requirement from the municipalities before issuing the rebates and rate reductions  Commissioner Larry Hartwig from Addison told me “If I were a village administrator I’d tell you to take a hike.”  Well Chairman Zay, don’t be surprised if Mayor Emanuel tells you the same thing.

Instead of making demands on the City of Chicago,  maybe Chairman Zay should require the same from the municipalities here in DuPage.

I think it would be a good idea for Chairman Zay to require a report from the DuPage municipalities to ensure the large increases in DuPage water rates is only being used to maintain the water system and nothing else.

Foot Note:  Below is a section of the Contract Between the DuPage Water Commission and the City of Chicago.

The Contract between The DuPage Water Commission and The City of Chicago
reads as follows:

The Commission shall be responsible for there being provided and maintained at all times during the term of this Contract water storage within the COMMISSION’S SYSTEM and participating municipalities collectively of sufficient capacity to store not less than two times the annual average daily demand of the Commission members.  Operable shallow well capacity may be counted for up to 10% of the storage requirement.  

The COMMISSION SYSTEM shall be operated so as to properly utilize reservoir storage within the COMMISSION SYSTEM and its customer’s connections in such a manner as to assist the City in maintaining a balanced flow within the City System.

The COMMISSION agrees to keep the CITY informed of the total storage capacity between the COMMISSION SYSTEM and is customers collectively.

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