Evanston aldermen are scheduled to vote Monday to increase the wholesale water rate it charges Skokie to $2.06 per 1,000 gallons — a 90.79 percent increase.

Evanston’s 20-year-old water supply agreement with Skokie expired at the end of February and although it was extended temporarily, Evanston officials say months of talks failed to reach agreement on a new rate.

Skokie recently increased the retail rate it charges its residents for water and sewer service by 8.48 percent, following increases of roughly 5 percent in each of the previous three years.

Village officials said those increases were needed for infrastructure improvements in the water distribution and sewer system. But they said that still left the village with one of the lowest water rates in the area.

To pass along the new wholesale water rate increase from Evanston, Skokie would have to increase the rate to its retail customers by an additional 17.17 percent.

Evanston officials have contended for years that the wholesale water rate under the old contract was too low and failed to allow Evanston to fully recover the cost of supplying the water.

Public Works Agency Director Dave Stoneback says the new rate was established using the American Water Works Association Manual of Water Supply Practices.

With an increase to cover the planned Evanston wholesale rate hike, Skokie customers would pay $50.05 per 1,000 cubic feet of water. The same amount of water now costs Evanston residents $61.30 — or 22 percent more.

Evanston officials say at least part of that difference reflects more extensive efforts Evanston has made in recent decades to upgrade its sewer infrastructure to reduce flooding during heavy rain storms.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Water rate

    It seems any entity/city that controls the water flow to other cities, they dictate the terms with little thought or no regard to the welfare of others. Evanston should not be allowed to have others pay for fixing its infrastructure. It should have been fixing it all along. Those that have received the water have kept their water infrastructure up to date. They should not have to pay for Evanston as well.

    1. First off, this a prime

      First off, this a prime example of the law of supply and demand. Secondly, perhaps Evanston’s infrastructure would be more up to date if Skokie paid a market rate for the water. Likewise, without the additional budget hit of the water bill, Skokie has had that much more money to maintain their infrastructure. I am astonished that the City of Evanston has let this go as long as they have.

      1. Laws of supply and demand don

        Laws of supply and demand don’t work in a near-monopoly market over limited natural resources. Lake Michigan does not belong to Evanston and the city should not be allowed to balance its budget shortfall by gouging our neighbors. 

      2. Contract

        Previous Evanston officials signed a 20 year contract with Skokie that current officials consider to have been extremely favorable to Skokie. But when you’re supposedly a sophisticated party and you sign a contract — you generally have to live up to it.

        Now that the contract has expired — time to get a better deal.

        Skokie could always buy water from Chicago instead. Chicago is charging $3.88 per 1,000 gallons — nearly double the rate Evanston wants to charge.

        — Bill

  2. Skokie pays less for water than us? Say what?

    Wait a minute. Skokie residents pay less for their water than Evanston residents yet Evanston CONTROLS the price of water distribution? Really? How did that happen and who’s looking out for Evanston residents? 

    Maybe that’s why a lot of folks are fleeing Evanston. Taxes, water and sewer rates are higher than our neighbors. That’s not to mention that Evanston raised the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 per hour but not Wilmette. Wilmette’s business district seems to be healthy yet I see a lot of empty storefronts in Evanston, which just had a huge spike in unemployment. 

    Come on peeps, time to kick these tax addicted, rate hiking, job killing aldermen to the curb. Yes we can!!!

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