Riverside due a $66K refund for excess water charges

?The Village of Riverside will receive a $66,000 refund from the Village of McCook after discovering that McCook had overcharged Riverside for water during eight months of 2004.

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By BOB UPHUES

The Village of Riverside will receive a $66,000 refund from the Village of McCook after discovering that McCook had overcharged Riverside for water during eight months of 2004.

According to Riverside Public Works Director Michael Hullihan, his department started noticing discrepancies between the water system's meter at First Avenue and at the village's meter at its pumping station at 63 Pine Ave.

The over billing problem came into focus after the village switched all of its water intake from McCook to the 63 Pine Ave. station. Previously, some water ran through 63 Pine Ave. and some ran through a pumping station at the historic water tower pumping station.

After checking historic water tower usage records, Hullihan determined that meter discrepancies began in approximately March of 2004.

"There was a gradual increase in the discrepancy in what our readings were at 63 Pine and what we were getting billed," Hullihan said. "It was a gradual failure of the system."

A check of the water system meter on First Avenue uncovered the problem. At some point during early 2004, gravel entered the system and damaged the meter, causing it to malfunction. In the process, Riverside was over billed for 34.1 million gallons of water. The First Avenue water meter has since been repaired.

After meeting with representative from the Village of McCook, Hullihan was able to settle on the amount of $66,015, which will be paid back to Riverside in $10,000 installments over the next several months.

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