Message from Mayor Peterson regarding the water concerns
There are many options to improving the water supply to the houses. We realize that just putting in a new water source will not correct all of our issues. It may in fact make some worse. So, we hired a company to make an assessment of our system. We need to know how water flows through our system, why we have pressure issues only in certain areas, why sediment builds up only in certain areas, why your water comes out rusty when your neighbor may have clear water and what type of pressure our system can take (other water sources have a different pressure which can create problems for us). This company is completing its report for the Will County side of Steger. Once that is done, we will do the same on the Cook County side. This information is critical to a permanent solution.
That said, even though the report is not complete, this company has made suggested changes during their testing which we are implementing now. We have been told that these changes will make some improvements while we complete the assessment.
We also know based on the assessment to date that the current cost of running our water system is not self sustaining. We have been running it at a deficit for years and if we are going to invest in needed improvements and make water quality changes, we need to raise rates so that it breaks even. I know this is not a popular decision. I hate the idea of raising rates for our citizens especially when I know there are problems. But, if we are going to be successful with tackling our water system issues, we need to change how we operate our system and we need our rates to reflect our true costs. If we do not, we will continue to operate as we always have which I feel is not the right answer. I want a better system for all of us.
The decision we have to make tonight will not be made lightly and the fact that some residents do not have water acceptable to them weighs on me.
Water rates in other nearby communities :