A Summit water bill with new infrastructure fee included. (Supplied photo)

A Summit water bill with new infrastructure fee included. (Supplied photo)

Summit adds surprise infrastructure fee to water bills

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Exit Saloon, near 63rd Street and Harlem Avenue, Summit.

By Carol McGowan

A new fee that is showing up on water bills in Summit had residents questioning it at last week’s village board meeting.

Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez addressed the crowded boardroom at the beginning of the meeting, knowing this was of concern and why many were there.

Summit water bills are issued every three months, and most residential homes saw a $45 fee, although the fee is based on the size of the water pipe going into the property.

In December, the village board passed an ordinance approving the charge, titling it an Infrastructure Improvement Charge.

In part, Summit Ordinance number 23-O-32 reads: “Whereas, the President and Board of Trustees of the Village of Summit (the Corporate Authorities) may amend the text of the Village code from time to time to meet the changing needs of the Village.  And, whereas the Corporate Authorities find it is in the best interests of the Village to establish and infrastructure improvement charge in order to fund the needed upgrades to the Village water system.

“In addition to the rates applied herein each account also shall be charged a fee per month of the billing cycle for village infrastructure improvements. The fee applied shall be as indicated in the following chart. Eligibility for the “senior rate” fee indicated below shall be based on submission of proof the home owner is age 65 years or over and living at the account address.”

Based on meter size going into the property, the rates are as follows per month. ¾-inch water meter $15, 5/8-inch water meter $17.50, 1-inch water meter $20, 1 ½-inch water meter $25, 2-inch water meter $30, 3-inch water meter $35, 4-inch water meter $42.50, and 6-inch water meter $65. The rate for seniors will be $7.50.

In the last year or two, the village has gone through a water meter replacement project. The project replaced all water meters at every source where water is used.

Funding for that project was provided in part by a low interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Public Water Supply Loan Program (PWSLP).  The PWSLP was funded by both state and federal sources in the amount of $1,183,516.35, at an interest rate of 1.50%, which is to be repaid over 20 years.

For questions on the fee, or how to apply for a senior rate, contact the village at 708-563-4800.

In other public comment, some residents voiced their concerns over the parking situation at and around Exit Saloon, 6312 S. Harlem Avenue.

This is the building that has previously housed Grand Dukes, and the Thirsty Pig.

Their concern is that patrons are filling up the parking spaces on an already crowded residential street, as well as in Argo High School’s parking lot on 63rd Street.

They claim that the live entertainment is drawing a bigger crowd than ever, and they are left with garbage, vomit, and loud noise from those parking on the side street.

One resident told the mayor and board that he has a young baby that is hard to keep asleep because of the noise, and that when he takes his dog out, the dog is getting into garbage left behind.

He said he shouldn’t have to be dealing with that and that he, and other neighbors at the meeting said they are left to pick up the mess left behind by bar patrons.

There was a comment that “someone may know someone,” in that patrons often park in the high school’s lot.

The Desplaines Valley News reached out to Argo High School Supt. Dr. William Toulios who said:

“We have contacted the business and have been working with Village of Summit officials, including the police department to regulate, observe, and modify our plans in keeping our parking lots safe for community members and residents. We will continue to work with the village to make sure that anyone that parks illegally will be towed.”

Village Administrator Jerry Hurckes said the village would be meeting with the business owner on the concerns and complaints.

Summit Police Chief Mel Ortiz said police patrol the area and will continue to do so.

The next Village Board meeting will be on Tuesday, February 20, at 7 p.m.

Village Hall will be closed on Monday, February 19, in observance of Presidents Day.

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