New Lenox changes way water bills calculated
By Erin Gallagher Correspondent January 16, 2013 7:14PM
Updated: February 19, 2013 1:37PM
New Lenox residents can expect their March 1 water bills to look different. However, the total amount will likely be about the same.
The village board voted this week to change the way usage is calculated. Previously, residents paid a higher flat fee for a minimum amount of usage. The new method involves a lower monthly line charge plus the actual amount of water consumed.
The new rates are $3.50 per 1,000 gallons if less than 9,000 gallons is used. For consumptions between 9,000 to 20,000 gallons, the rate is $4.59 per 1,000 gallons. Residents who use more than 20,000 gallons will pay $7 per 1,000 gallons.
The board discussed the ordinance’s language concerning the 5 percent annual increase “to keep pace with inflation costs of the water production and distribution.”
Trustee Ray Tuminello questioned whether the increase should be automatic, or if the board should vote for it every year.
“It’s not like we’re gouging people,” Trustee Nancy Dye said. “It’s 5 percent on $32.” That is a $1.60 increase effective March 1, 2014, and $1.68 the following year.
“We (the village) are just covering our costs,” Mayor Tim Baldermann said. “You’ll only be paying for what you use.”
The mayor said that the staff already reviews these budgets every year as standard procedure. However, the board unanimously approved the ordinance adding the condition that the annual increase will happen “pending a review.”