Lake water hearings in Lake Villa, Lindenhurst
By Diana Kuyper Special to The News-Sun January 16, 2013 7:00PM
Grandwood Park water meeting
A session on providing information to users of the Grandwood Park Water System of potentially connecting to the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency based in Lake Blluff for Lake Michigan water, instead of deep wells, will be held Jan 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Community Center, 36630 N. Hutchins Road. More information is available at ww.grandwoodpark.net/news-events-news.
Updated: March 18, 2013 1:19AM
Lindenhurst and Lake Villa officials are gearing up to explain to residents how they will be affected by the proposed switch from groundwater to Lake Michigan water as the municipal water source.
Lindenhurst is holding its first public information session Jan. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Lake County Forest Preserve Operation Facility, 19808 W. Grand Ave. A second session is scheduled for Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to noon at the same location.
Lake Villa officials will schedule a hearing in mid-to-late February.
Together, the two municipalities will sponsor an information booth about the project March 23 and March 24 at the Lindenhurst/Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce Springfest Expo at Lakes Community High School.
The public information sessions will give residents the opportunity to learn more about the sustainability of both sources of municipal water, said Village Administrator Matt Formica.
“It is an open-house style meeting with seven different stations where residents can obtain information and talk with village officials and a groundwater expert.”
Lake Villa Mayor Frank Loffredo expects to offer similar information at Lake Villa’s sessions.
He wants to give residents an overview of the project and expects to schedule subsequent meetings as a timeline is finalized.
“We want to keep our residents updated as we move ahead. I think we are going to see a lot of final decisions made this year.”
Both Lindenhurst and Lake Villa officials are still reviewing the costs and financing options to bring lake water to their residents.
Until costs are finalized the project is not a done deal and membership in the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency is not final.
“By the end of 2013 we will have made a decision on whether or not to move ahead with Lake Michigan water,” said Formica, explaining that options for financing include establishing a special service area with a two-tiered approach.
“Part of the costs would go on the property tax bill. The local improvements, operations and delivery would be added to the water bill. We estimate the average bill would increase by $36 monthly and that includes the property tax increase, or an average annual cost of $221 for a $200,000 home.”
Lake Villa Treasurer Lori Heitman said the village’s costs to adapt Lake Villa’s water system are still being calculated.
“We are looking at our financing options, including bonds and increasing water rates to fund construction costs,” she said.
“We want to do what is most economical for taxpayers to provide them a reliable and safe source of water for the future.”
“By the time the February meeting is held we will also be able to show residents a timeline for bringing Lake Michigan water to the village,” said Loffredo.
“I think we can show a realistic timeline and we are working on a timeline right now with CLCJAWA.”
Loffredo said the working date to make the switch is 2016.
“If everything aligns perfectly, that is a realistic goal.”
Formica explained that CLCJAWA was identified as the most efficient and cost-effective source of Lake Michigan water, but a final decision on the project will not be made until all the costs are determined.
“We are at the stage where we are developing an implementation plan as well as working out the business terms of our relationship. We think an important step is public input.”