Plainfield locks in water rate increases for three years

Brock A. Stein | 12/16/2014, 11:03 p.m.
The city of Chicago has raised its water rates for Plainfield by 15 percent, and that hike will spread out ...

Plainfield trustees have approved a water and sewer rate increase plan that will run through 2017.

The new rate charges follow a 15 percent increase from the village’s City of Chicago water supplier.

Under the plan approved Monday, the village will lock in their water rate hikes for three years as the supplier ties its increases to the producer price index. Water customers have seen increases ranging from 15 percent to 25 percent in recent years. The newly approved plan should result give residents lower rate increases than the village has seen in recent years, officials said.

Sewer charges are not expected to rise during the 3-year term for the plan and a capital charge for facilities and infrastructure improvements will be lowered from $8 to $7.50 per month starting in 2016.

Water rates will rise 5.39 percent in 2015, 2.94 percent in 2016, and 2.98 percent in 2017. Customers will see a $4 jump in their bills in 2015 and increases of around $2.40 for the final two years of the plan.

The village has improved the efficiency of the village’s water and sewer systems in recent years.

Public Works Director Allen Persons said a recent audit of the village’s water infrastructure shows that water loss in the system has been reduced to its lowest level of 1 percent.

“It does save all of the rate payers and all of our residents money,” Persons said of the increased efficiency.

Administrator Brian Murphy said that combined with a recent upgrade in the village’s water and sewer bond rating will mean savings can be passed on to residents.

“We’re very fortunate to have great financial stewardship but also great system stewardship, too,” Murphy said.

The bond upgrade will save the village about $911,000 over the life of the bonds, or about $60,000 per year, Financial Services Director Traci Pleckham said.

In other business, the board approved the road closures for its first race in 2015.

The Fast Cat 5K/10K run will take place April 4, starting at Plainfield North High School. The fundraiser for the Plainfield North track team will kick off its fourth outing with a kids run starting at 8 a.m. About 350 runners took part in the event in 2014.

Contact Brock A. Stein at brocknewstips@gmail.com or on Twitter at @brockastein.