Water rate restructure means small increase

After about six years with no rate hikes, most Hinsdale residents soon will see a slight increase in their water bills.

The estimated 1 percent increase for an average user will result from a restructuring of the water bill that is designed to keep water revenues at a more stable level throughout the year. Residents are billed every other month for water.

The new rate structure eliminates the charge of $27.52 for up to three units and instead implements a $15 flat fee that will be dedicated to infrastructure maintenance and improvements. The usage rate will drop from $8.25 a unit to $8 a unit up to 100 units per billing cycle. Residents who use more than 100 units will be charged $12.38 a unit.

“The benefit of having the fixed rate is you have this dependable source of revenue,” said Trustee Matt Posthuma, chair of the board’s administration and community affairs committee.

Posthuma noted that water rate increases often drive water use down.

“You don’t get as much revenue as you might hope from the rate increase,” he said.

The $15 fee will generate $530,000 a year, and the premium rate is expected to bring in an additional $220,000 a year. A typical household of four that uses 30 units every two months currently pays $287.85. Under the proposed rate structure, the resident would pay $291, an increase of $3.15.

The village has had an average annual shortfall of $706,000 in the water and sewer program over the last four years, said Andrea Lamberg, finance director. The additional revenue will help the village address $6 million work of water and sewer infrastructure improvements scheduled do be done over the next five years as part of the village’s master infrastructure plan.

Village President Tom Cauley said for some time the village’s general fund has been subsidizing water main repairs but that this new rate structure would help the system be self-sustaining.

“The money is going to go the water system,” he said. “It’s not going to go to anything else.”

Trustees discussed the rate increase when they met Tuesday and are scheduled to vote on it at their Aug. 10 meeting.

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean