Brookfield homeowners will see their water/sewer bills and charges for residential waste hauling increase in July after the village’s board of trustees votes later this month to pass along increases in those rates.
Trustees indicated their intention to raise water/sewer and waste hauling rates last month during a discussion of those topics at the village board’s May 22 committee of the whole meeting.
The village intends on raising its waste hauling fee by 3 percent to match the rate increase outlined in the village’s waste hauling contract with Groot Industries Inc. It’ll be the first increase in residential waste hauling rates since 2013.
All single-family and two-unit residences in Brookfield will be affected by the increase. Multifamily buildings and businesses contract privately for waste hauling in Brookfield.
Single-family residential waste hauling rates will climb from $83.73 per quarter to $86.24 per quarter, meaning residential customers will pay a little more than $10 more annually for waste hauling services.
The rate for two-unit buildings is going up from $167.46 per quarter to $172.48, or a little more than $20 annually, according to information provided to trustees by Finance Director Doug Cooper at the board’s May 22 meeting.
Cooper argued it was appropriate for the village to pass along the 3-percent increase to bolster the village’s garbage fund, an enterprise fund that helps pay for capital expenses related to waste hauling, such as alley maintenance and the equipment purchased for those activities.
In 2016, for example, the village purchased a heavy-duty grader for alley maintenance. Loan payments for that piece of equipment and other expenses, such as gravel and public works salaries related to alley maintenance are paid for through the garbage fund.
Those costs have increased the garbage fund’s annual administrative costs from $165,909 in 2016 to $411,762 in 2017. The fund’s cash reserves will have decreased from about $875,000 at the end of 2015 to about $609,000 at the end of 2017.
“After looking at this year’s financial results and the audit, we decided that we would pass this rate increase along at this time,” Cooper said.
Water rates going up
Meanwhile, Brookfield water customers will see those rates rise 4.25 percent beginning in July after the board’s anticipated June vote.
The increase is in reaction to the Brookfield-North Riverside Water Commission’s announcement May 1 that it would be increasing its water supply rates to member communities by the same rate.
The water commission’s increase is coming from a few sources. One is a small rate increase from the city of Chicago for water. Another source of the increase stems from the fact that water commission revenue is dropping because its customers are using less water, giving the commission less money to maintain the water infrastructure it owns.
Finally, the water commission is also passing along the first of seven rate increases that will pay the debt service on a new water main it is presently constructing through Forest Park, Oak Park and the West Side of Chicago.
That new $17 million main is being funded by a low-interest loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. It will serve as another main water supply line to back up the commission’s present main, which is more than 75 years old.
Brookfield water customers who use 10,000 gallons per quarter would see their bills go up by about $22 per year, according to Cooper. That figure includes the quarterly sewer charge, which is tied to water usage.
The village’s water and sewer enterprise fund has seen its cash reserves fall sharply in the past two years, due to the construction of the Forest Avenue pump station and sewer improvements related to road reconstruction.
In 2015, water and sewer reserves stood at more than $2.7 million. By the end of 2017, those reserves are estimated to fall to about $680,000.