In 2013, Plainfield residents got a bit of a respite from increasing prices for Lake Michigan water.
But with a 15 percent rate hike coming courtesy of the City of Chicago — and another 15 percent increase expected in 2015 — village officials Monday voted to increase Plainfield’s rate by 6 percent.
Mayor Mike Collins broke a 3-3 tie vote, calling the cost increase “minimal” for Plainfield residents. According to the village, the rate hike will mean an additional cost of about $4.40 per month for the average resident. Trustees Dan Rippy, Paul Fay and Garrett Peck voted no, while Margie Bonuchi, Bill Lamb and Jim Racich voted yes.
In a memo to the board, Village Administrator Brian Murphy noted that the village has worked to cut water and wastewater expenses to help keep rates down, including reducing labor costs by more than 20 percent over the last four years. The village has also decommissioned the old south wastewater plant, opening the more efficient north plant, which has helped cut water loss to an all-time low of 2 percent.
The village’s water/sewer rate has increased by an average of 3 percent per year over the last decade, Murphy said, adding Plainfield currently has the third lowest rate in the area, following Romeoville and Joliet.
Increasing rates for Lake Michigan water are nothing new; Chicago has boosted the cost in recent years dating back to 2008. In 2011, the rate jumped 25 percent.
Collins said a previous village board voted to bring Lake Michigan water to Plainfield in 2003.
“It was the best proposal we had,” he said, adding, “Our water quality has increased … This service is definitely needed by the village.”
The village will continue to offer a 10 percent discounted rate for senior citizens.