By Jessie Molloy
Oak Lawn residents will pay 12 percent more for water this year as the Village Board moved last week to defray the rising price it is paying Chicago for the world's most sought-after natural resource.
Trustees voted unanimously Jan. 8 to approve raising the village's residential water rate to $5.27 per 1,000 gallons up to 10,000 gallons, with a minimum charge of $52.74. Residents using between 10,001 and 30,000 gallons will pay $5.37 per 1,000 gallons, and residents using more than 30,001 gallons will pay $5.47. Oak Lawn residents are billed for water every three months.
The village's non-residential rate was increased to $17.58 per month for up to 4,000 gallons. Non-residential customers who use between 4,001 and 10,000 gallons a month will pay $5.37 per 1,000 gallons, while the rate for using more than 10,000 gallons a month will be $5.47 per 1,000 gallons.
The board also increased the price of water for the nine municipalities that buy it from the village. Monthly water rates will rise to between $3.10 and $3.42 per thousand gallons.
Oak Lawn finance director Brian Hannigan said the rates needed to be raised to "pass along the rising cost of water from the city of Chicago." Chicago last year raised by 25 percent the price it charged suburbs for water, and has scheduled increases of 15 percent per year through 2015.