Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to approve a 5 percent increase in water rates.

City staff says the increase is needed to limit the amount of bond debt the city has to issue to finance capital improvement projects for the water system.

The increase follows a 10 percent hike adopted last year and is scheduled to be followed by a 3 percent increase for 2013.

The increase comes just after the City of Chicago announced a 25 percent water rate hike, which is scheduled to be followed by 15 percent increases in each of the next three years.

With those changes, Chicago’s water rate will soar above Evanston’s. Chicago now charges $2.01 per 1,000 gallons while Evanston charges $2.23.

Next year the rates will be $2.51 in Chicago and $2.34 in Evanston, according to a city staff memo.

Evanston water rates will also be lower than those for 28 other communities checked by city staff. The only lower rate identified is in Highland Park where water will cost 3-cents less per 1,000 gallons next year than in Evanston.

The water charge generally forms only a relatively small part of the bi-monthly “water bill” issued to residents by the city.

Sewer rates are roughly three times the water rate and, depending on the level of service, sanitation charges for garbage removal can be more than the charge for water.

Related document

Water rate hike proposal

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Water Bill Increased

    It is time to move out of this town.  Sorry, you are getting too petty.  First the refuse penalty and now the water again!!!!  We are paying too much and not getting the quality of service we need. Thanks for such poor service City Council.

    1. Cheap water

      Complaining about water prices in Evanston?  Do you realize how cheap it is here?  Where are you going to go?  Texas?  California?   

      Look at this CNN article: Heat pops pipes nationwide; brace for higher bills and see the list of 50 largest cities' water bills.  (Chicago ranks 3rd lowest….do you want to move to Omaha?)  

      Or maybe you should read Why Your Water Bill Must Go Up in the latest Atlantic online:

      by 2015, most Chicagoans would pay more than double their current water usage fees. “The work here, in my view, is essential for Chicago’s economic future,” Emanuel said at a construction site where crews replaced piping dating to 1886.

      Unsurprisingly, most Chicagoans are unhappy with the rate hike. But their city has at least a thousand miles of water line that's 100 years old or older, so the upgrade is a must. And Chicago's not alone. Built mostly during the late 19th and early 20th century*, much of the country's water infrastructure—from wells to dams and reservoirs; from storage tanks, aqueducts, and treatment plants to pipes and valves—is rapidly failing…………

      Chicago's water rates are among the country's lowest, so perhaps that city is due for a hike. But many urban residents are asking a reasonable question: isn't there another solution?

      So what is your solution?  Do you not want to pay to replace old pipes?  Do you want to live in Arizona and have water piped into your house (and not pay for those pipes either) ?  

      Of course there is one obvious solution, which the Atlantic article mentions:  having the Federal government pay to fix the nation's infrastructure….water, bridges, roads….not only would   benefit us in the future, but it would create jobs now –  sort of a stimulus……

      What sort of short-sighted meanies would be opposed to that?

      1. Cheap water?

        I really agree with you on updating our water infrastructure and being smart about street repair. The repair process would be a lot cheaper if Illinois could become a right-to-work state and we could end public sector unions. Your second to last paragraph makes the stimulus appear a taxpayer gift to the unions. I think that people who don't want to join an union should be able to get a job without paying dues to a double dipping union boss.

  2. Amen to making Illinois a ‘Right to Work’ state

    People should be able to work without joining union and paying dues for political campaigns and other things they don't agree with.

    We should be far beyond forced labor laws which make the workers slaves of the union and unions able to control the political process.

    Construction and other work would be a lot cheaper if its costs were market instead of union/political based.

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