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Buyers sign off on city water deal

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Aside from actually laying the pipeline, all the pieces now appear to be in place for Evanston to sell water to Morton Grove and Niles.

Evanston aldermen approved the deal Monday night. Morton Grove trustees also voted unanimously to approve the agreement Monday, and Niles trustees followed suit on Tuesday.

The agreement is expected to generate more than $1 million a year in net revenue after expenses for Evanston.

Morton Grove officials say they expect to save more than $2 million a year, compared to what they’d pay to continue to get their water from Chicago.

The two villages will issue bonds and share the cost, estimated at $90 million, to connect to Evanston’s water distribution system at McCormick Boulevard and Emerson Street.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says it’s taken almost seven years to negotate the agreement. Talks began after Chicago started dramatically raising the rates it charged its suburban water customers and Evanston officials saw an opportunity to gain extra revenue and more fully utilize the capacity of Evanston’s water plant while undercutting Chicago’s rates.

The agreement has a 40 year term, with two 10-year renewals at the option of the two villages.

Subject to when construction of the pipeline is completed, Evanston could start providing water to the two towns sometime next year.

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