Palos Park Commissioner Rebecca Petan said that fixing aging infrastructure is causing higher prices in water usage. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)
Price of water going up in Palos Park in September
By Jeff Vorva
Area communities are feeling the pinch of rising water costs and Palos Park is included in that mix.
The village gets its Lake Michigan water via the Oak Lawn Regional Water System and when there are increases from Chicago and Oak Lawn to the villages and cities in the system those rate hikes are passed along to consumers in communities that includes Palos Park, Orland Park, Palos Hills and Chicago Ridge.
A massive project replacing the infrastructure has been underway in recent years and that has been adding to the higher costs of water.
Thus, in a move that Palos Park Commissioner Mike Wade said, “It’s not something we want to do,” the village council voted on Aug. 14 to raise the rates, effective Sept. 1.
The new cost is 47 cents per 1,000 gallons from $13.03 per 1,000 gallons to $13.50. There is a 6,000-gallon minimum over a two-month time period.
Public Works Commissioner Rebecca Petan said that new infrastructure was needed for the village’s aging system.
“There will be construction of new a transmission main 60 inches in diameter and the installation of new pumps and other equipment and looping with an existing 48-inch main in Oak Forest,” she said. “These improvements will provide Palos Park with a redundancy and our ability to deliver Lake Michigan water to our customers.”
Mayor Nicole Milovich-Walters said the village was currently being supplied by a 10-inch main.
“I don’t want to get into the weeds with all of this, but the current water main that brings the water to us is 10 inches in diameter and they are putting in a five-foot in diameter pipe and it will be redundant so, if one goes down – you are still getting water,” she said.
The mayor said she was not happy with having to raise the price of water to the residents.
“It’s really important that we do this, and it stinks that it has to happen but hopefully after things get paid off, things can come down a little bit,” she said. “We need to make sure that the costs are covered.
“This isn’t enterprise, and it isn’t a fund that is used to generate extra money, it is there so we have enough money to make sure we can maintain our system and do the repairs and things that are needed.”
Wade added that this project will benefit future generations and “it’s not just about tomorrow.”
There is an app for that
Milovich-Walters is encouraging residents with smartphones to take advantage of the Simplicity app, which has a section dedicated to Palos Park and allows easy access to information about the village.
“It’s free to the village and its free to [residents],” she said. “It’s just making its way across the country but so far Miami and New York use it. If they are successfully using it, maybe we can, too.”
She said that there is a wealth of information on the app.
“Residents who download Simplicity will get notifications about important village alerts, updates on events and other essential information,” she said. “The app will also include links to village contacts, program registrations, permit applications, waste and recycling schedules and more.”
Stop signs a go
The council approved stops signs on the intersections of 127th Street and Timberline Drive and at Regina Lane and Deerwood Drive.
Commissioner Dan Polk said the decision to place signs in those areas were a result of studies conducted recently.
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