In December 2009, financial mismanagement of the DuPage Water Commission (DWC), the organization from which the Village purchases its water for resale to residents and businesses, was made public. By inappropriately charging operating expenses to reserve accounts, the DWC had drastically reduced its reserves from $26 million to $7 million. To secure the continued operation of the DWC and guarantee forthcoming bond payments, the Village of Willowbrook and the 29 other government participants are preparing to see increased rates to purchase water in the near future.
At this time, the DWC is scheduled to make a final rate announcement on April 9, 2010. The amount of their rate increase has been estimated at around 17%. Such an increase will significantly raise the purchase price of water for the Village, which is currently analyzing the impact on local rates for Willowbrook’s customers.
The Village has not implemented a water rate increase since 2001. Our current water rate is $3.99 per 1,000 gallons for a household account and $4.60 per 1,000 gallons for a large user. But now our rates will necessarily increase in order to keep pace with the purchase price, while still maintaining our current operations and funding the long-term maintenance and capital needs of the water system.
The Willowbrook Village Board will be reviewing several proposed water rate increase models at the regularly scheduled Board meeting on April 12, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. If a decision is reached on that date, we anticipate new water rates would become effective May 1, 2010. All residential and business water customers will be formally notified by mail of any water rate increase that is approved by the Village Board.
Please contact the Village’s Finance Director, Sue Stanish, with any questions related to water rates and the budgeting process.