Romeoville officials approve water line study
BY BROCK A. STEIN Correspondent March 28, 2013 10:34PM
Romeoville Mayor John Noak gives his state of the village address in the JFK Sports Center at Lewis University Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at One University Parkway in Romeoville. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 1, 2013 2:00PM
Romeoville officials have approved a resolution authorizing a study that will look at the feasibility of acquiring Illinois-American Water Company’s water infrastructure.
Mayor John Noak said that the village has a small number of industrial water hook ups — 14 to 28 he estimated — within village limits with no residential customers of the water supplier.
Under the agreement, the village, in partnership with neighboring Bolingbrook and Woodridge, will look at the possibility of acquiring the company’s water system either through purchase or eminent domain seizure.
Along with Homer Glen and Lemont the three municipalities are part of the Northern Will County Water Agency which has been working to purchase a pipeline supplying water to the suburbs.
Bolingbrook, with the largest number of water customers of Illinois-American, will pay for the study. A lawsuit was filed in 2010 against the water supplier over allegations it was overcharging municipal customers.
Noak said that only after the study was completed would the village make a decision about how to proceed.
Michael Smyth, a senior manager with Illinois-American, spoke during the public comments segment of the meeting outlining his company’s stance on the feasibility study.
“We strongly oppose government using eminent domain to take over a private company,” said Smyth who predicted that the move would end up costing Romeoville residents more in legal fees as the parties clash in court.
“Your residents deserve the facts,” he told the trustees and mayor.
The mayor reiterated that the resolution was only to authorize the feasibility study at no cost to the village and that the number of water service hook ups in the village amounted to less than one tenth of one percent of all water customers.
“All of that cost will be at Bolingbrook’s expense,” said Noak.
In other business, the village approved a partnership agreement with Rasmussen College to offer classes in Fire Officer Certification at the village’s fire academy for students enrolled at the school.
The three year agreement will allow fire science students at Rasmussen to take 9 different courses through the Romeoville Fire Academy. Courses will be taught at 2 village fire houses, the village recreation center, as well as at the Rasmussen Romeoville Campus, 1400 West Normantown Road.
“This is an amazing program that’s grown over the years,” said Noak of the partnership.