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Water, sewer rates rise in Evergreen Park

By Laura Bollin

Evergreen Park residents, like those in most other area municipalities, will pay more for to bathe, wash dishes and hydrate themselves in 2013 as the village's water rate continues to climb.

Village trustees raised the water rate this year from $7 to $8.05 per 1,000 gallons. Households will pay a minimum of $40.25 every three months up to 5,000 gallons, at which point the new rate kicks in.

The 15-perent hike mirrors that implemented by Chicago, from where the village purchases its water. Chicago increased the rate it charges municipalities for water 25 percent in 2012, and will raise the price 15 percent in both 2014 and 2015. Area residents can expect their municipal governments to pass that increase along to them.

"The mayor [Jim Sexton] keeps saying this water is going to be like petroleum, it'll be like gold," Evergreen Park village Clerk Cathy Aparo said at the Village Board's meeting Feb 4.

Evergreen's sewer rates also increased 15 percent this year. The minimum sewer rate is $1.80 per 1,000 gallons, an increase from last year's rate of $1.70. Residents will pay a minimum of $27.07 every three months, compared to $25.50 in 2012.

"This is going to be difficult for people who are on a fixed income," said Evergreen Park village treasurer Sawyers said. "People are going to be paying a little bit more, and they will be paying more for the rest of their lives. Water is going to go up and up and up, and there's really nothing we can do about it. Water is a precious commodity."