Bartlett's full transition to Lake Michigan water is expected in 2019
February 2018 Update - The Village Board recently approved the capital budget for the next five-year period and, as anticipated, a significant portion of the 2018-2019 budget focuses on infrastructure improvements needed for Bartlett’s transition to 100% Lake Michigan water by 2019, when its water contract with the City of Elgin expires.
The Village currently purchases approximately 60% of its water from Elgin with the balance of the source water pumped from Village wells. However, last February the Board finalized an agreement to join the DuPage Water Commission and purchase Lake Michigan water through this membership.
Some of the infrastructure additions and improvements needed for this transition include a DuPage Water Commission receiving station, new elevated tower and ground storage tank and new transmission mains. A complete upgrade will be needed at the Lake Street pump station and piping/valve modifications will be needed at the Main Street and Stearns Road pump stations to make them compatible and functional with the new water system.
Construction of local water transmission lines will begin this summer, running along the Stearns Road right-of-way, and the Village is pleased to start 2018 with more good news about this project.
First, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a one-time $485,000 Special Appropriation Act Program grant to the Village of Bartlett to help finance the water infrastructure project. This grant was made available through the USEPA annual appropriations process and was designated in 2009 for projects to improve drinking water infrastructure. These funds will help the Village build the new pump station that is needed for connection to the DuPage Water Commission.
The Village received another piece of good news in January, when the DuPage Water Commission opened bids for the new water transmission main from Roselle. Benchmark Construction submitted the low bid of $13.25 million, which was 20.7% below the engineer’s estimate.
Since these improvements are mainly funded through water rates, the Village is pleased to be able to offset even a small portion of the cost of such a major capital project through fiscally responsible bids and grants.
You can see more numbers in regard to this multi-year water project in the 2018-2022 Capital Budget.
The Decision to Move to Lake Michigan Water
June to August 2014
The Village of Bartlett purchases approximately 60% of its water from the City of Elgin with the balance of the source water pumped from Village wells. The contract with Elgin expires in 2019 and the Board of Trustees began weighing its future water source options in mid-year 2014.
|November 2015 to January 2016||
By November 2015, after many discussions and many questions asked and answered, the five proposals had morphed into three solid options -- 100% Elgin water from the Fox River; 100% NSMJAWA (Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency) water from Lake Michigan; or a combination of 50% Elgin/50% NSMJAWA.
|January 2016 to October/November 2016||
In January 2016, the Village Board directed staff to pursue an agreement for 100% water from Elgin. Staff began negotiations but in October 2016 had not yet finalized the agreement.
|February 2017||On February 7, 2017 the Village Board finalized an agreement to join the DuPage Water Commission and purchase Lake Michigan water through this membership.|
|March to May 2017||
The Village of Bartlett had held off on its routine, biennial reviews of water and sewer rates since the last rate increase in 2012. At the March 21, 2017 Village Board meeting, trustees approved a 20% increase in the water rate and a 20% increase in the sewer rate that went into effect on May 1, 2017.
Although a rate increase would have occurred even if Bartlett had chosen to renegotiate its water purchase contract with the City of Elgin, the transition to Lake Michigan water requires engineering and water main replacement costs, which account for a substantial portion of the water rate hike. The sewer rate increase is largely impacted by necessary improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
Bartlett’s water and sewer rates have been in the bottom third compared to 26 neighboring communities that were surveyed. After the 20% increase in rates, the Village still falls squarely in the middle of all surveyed municipalities.