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.