Joliet suing sanitary district, claiming unpaid bills
By Jon Seidel firstname.lastname@example.org October 5, 2011 5:40PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 9:43AM
The city of Joliet is suing a small neighborhood sanitary district to its east for $112,187 in unpaid bills.
A city attorney filed the lawsuit last week against South Ridgewood Sanitary District, alleging it has refused to pay for water and sewage treatment service provided by the city.
But Franklin D. Burkey, the sanitary district’s attorney, called Joliet’s numbers “fantasy figures.”
Burkey said meters at the district are broken, so no one knows how much Joliet is truly owed.
He said the sanitary district and its board of trustees, appointed by the Will County executive and serving about 130 homes, have set aside cash for a settlement with Joliet.
“We’ve offered to let them take over the management” of the sanitary district, Burkey said.
The Ridgewood neighborhood, which includes about 400 homes in and around Silver Cross Hospital, has had sewage problems for a century, according to the county health department.
Some of the homes are in Joliet, some are not; less than half of the homes are served by the South Ridgewood Sanitary District.
The neighborhood had a complex mixture of failing septic systems, inadequate sewers and unsafe wells, the county health department reported.
In 2003, the county set aside $500,000 in federal grant funds to extend or enlarge city of Joliet water and sewer lines in the area.