2023 Water and Sewer Rates
The Village recently updated its comprehensive 2017 Water and Sewer Infrastructure and Rate Study to determine rate levels necessary to fund critical water and sewer infrastructure improvement projects in our community and comply with unfunded State of Illinois mandates. As a result, the Village Board approved an ordinance on March 28, 2023, updating La Grange Park’s quarterly water and sewer rates.
New rates will become effective July 1, 2023. These are the Village’s first rate increases since 2019. Residents will not see increased rates in their utility bills until October 2023 due to the Village’s quarterly billing cycle.
Village water and sewer rates and infrastructure improvements were discussed during the following public meetings:
- Water: November 9, 2022, and March 14, 2023, Village Board Work Sessions
- Sewer: January 24, 2023, Board Meeting and March 14, 2023, Work Session
Please see below for more information and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
2023 Rate Information
Village utility bills are issued quarterly and include charges for both water and sewer consumption per 100 cubic feet, which is the standard unit of measurement for these two types of utilities. (One cubic foot is the same as approximately 7.5 gallons.) The minimum usage billed is 600 cubic feet.
The following rate changes per 100 cubic feet will become effective July 1, 2023, and appear on the October 2023 billings:
Note: Residents will not see the new rates reflected in their utility bills until October 2023 due to the Village’s quarterly billing schedule.
Here are several examples of how an average quarterly utility bill may change based on consumption:
Starting July 1, 2023
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question 1: Why are water and sewer rate increases needed?
Water and sewer rate increases are required for several important reasons.
Water rate increase: Necessary to comply with State-mandated water system replacements and other critical community infrastructure improvements.
Back in 2017, the Village conducted a water and sewer rate study that analyzed the Village’s utilities, long-term infrastructure needs and necessary costs of maintaining well-functioning, reliable water and sewer systems. The study proposed a water and sewer rate schedule with annual increases through 2027 that would allow the Village to maintain financially stable Water and Sewer Funds, while investing in the ongoing maintenance and replacement of aging utility infrastructure. Additional information about the Village’s 2017 study can be found on the Village’s website here. The Board adopted the study’s recommended increases in 2019 but suspended any increases since then due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and greater water sales, which provided the Village with sufficient funding to complete scheduled water and sewer infrastructure improvements.
However, the State of Illinois adopted its Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act in January 2021, an unfunded mandate, that requires all Illinois communities to replace lead service lines in municipal water systems. To understand the Act’s impacts to our community, the Village conducted a comprehensive water service line study in 2022 and created a lead service line inventory. Based on survey results and State law, the Village is preparing to soon replace its lead service lines in the community. Future annual lead line replacement expenses are in addition to the $1.2 million per year the Village has already budgeted for important water capital projects. Village staff have diligently worked to comply with the Act’s requirements and evaluate potential sources of outside (non-Village) funding, but financial assistance from either the State or Federal governments is not available to La Grange Park at this time.
Sewer rate increase: Necessary to maintain and operate effective sanitary and storm sewer collection systems.
The Village’s 2017 rate study recommended that the Village invest $400,000 annually in capital improvement projects to ensure effective sewer services. The Village also budgets $388,000 annually to fund bonds issued in 2006 for critical sewer improvements. In addition to these annual needs, the Village is working towards its Central Area Storm Sewer Separation Project that provide significant flood relief in certain areas of the community. This project cannot be deferred. To offset the project’s financial impact to the community, Village staff are seeking outside grant funding opportunities and intend to submit an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) low-interest loan.
Question 2: Are there assistance programs for those who can’t afford to pay their bill?
The Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County’s (CEDA) Low-income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) provides financial assistance to low-income households with issues surrounding water and wastewater bills. To qualify, families must meet certain income criteria and live in Cook County. Families can call CEDA or visit a partner in-take site to check eligibility. To apply for the program or to learn more, residents can call 1 (800) 571-2332 or visit www.cedaorg.net.
Question 3: When will new water and sewer rates go into effect?
The Village’s new rates will go into effect starting July 1, 2023. Although the new rates will become effective July 1, residents will not see the new rates reflected in their utility bills until October 2023 due to the Village’s quarterly billing cycle.
Question 4: What determines changes to the water and sewer rates?
The Village Board reviews water and sewer rates as part of the Village’s greater budget development process each year. The 2017 rate study recommends annual water and sewer rate increases through 2027; however, the Board has the discretion to suspend increases based on current Village trends in water utilization and infrastructure maintenance, as well as the Village’s overall financial situation. The Board has not raised utility rates since 2019. 2023 rate increases are not for the purpose of “catching up” on suspended increases; the Village is resuming the rate study’s recommended rate schedule.
Question 5: Where does the Village get its water from?
Lake Michigan is the sole water source used to provide water for Chicago and its 123 suburban communities like La Grange Park. The City of Chicago delivers nearly 1 billion gallons of drinking water daily to Chicago area communities and water commissions. The Village receives its water from the Brookfield-North Riverside Water Commission.
Question 6: What do my utility bills pay for?
Click here to learn what your utility bills pay for. As a reminder, the Village is a government entity and does not “profit” from your payments. The utility bill you pay each quarter is an investment in the Village’s water and sewer future to ensure that the Village can provide you – and generations to come – with the same high-quality services you receive today.