Bartlett Anticipates Water Rate Increase for May 2019
September 6, 2018 -- During the Tuesday, 9/4 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Village Board discussed the third part of a planned incremental increase in water rates that is anticipated to begin with the May 1, 2019 bills. This proposed increase would occur at approximately the same time that the construction associated with the Lake Michigan water transition is completed and loan payments for the project begin.
The three most recent rounds of rate hikes follow a five-year period when water rates remained unchanged. During this five-year halt – from 2012 to 2017 - the Village Board held off on its routine, biennial reviews of water and sewer rates as trustees discussed Bartlett’s move to a new water source. On February 7, 2017, the board finalized an agreement to purchase Lake Michigan water through the DuPage Water Commission.
A water rate increase would have occurred even if Bartlett had opted to renegotiate its water purchase contract with the City of Elgin. However the transition to Lake Michigan water requires engineering and water main replacement costs, which account for a substantial portion of the rate hike.
The proposed rate per 1,000 gallons of water will be $11.76, up from $9.70. This rate is in line with the figures that were projected in the Potable Water Study Update, November 3, 2016. (See the study and the full timeline for the water project on Bartlett's Drinking Water webpage). That study shows that if the Village had chosen to move to 100% Elgin water, there would have been only a 6-cent difference in the rate per 1,000 gallons, ($11.70 for 100% Elgin water versus the $11.76 rate now anticipated for May 2019). The study further shows that the current rate the Village is looking at, $11.76, is lower than the original rate estimated for water through the DuPage Water Commission.
For a household that averages 6,000 gallons of monthly water use, the increased rate translates to $12.36 more per month on the water portion of the bill.
Before the 2017 increase, Bartlett’s water and sewer rates ranked in the bottom third compared to 26 neighboring communities that were surveyed. The Village's most recent review of water rates in 16 area communities, shows that Bartlett's rates will continue to be lower than several neighbor municipalities, including the City of Elgin.
Going forward, rates will need to be reviewed annually as infrastructure improvements continue, but these incremental increases will be offset once the water connection is complete in May 2019 and residents realize savings from the removal of their water softeners.
“The DuPage Water Commission has provided its members a high quality and reliable water supply for many years. We are excited to join the other communities in the commission, and we look forward to next spring, when Bartlett gets connected to Lake Michigan water,” said Village President Kevin Wallace.