Evanston City Council approves 3 percent raise on water rates

Olga Gonzalez Latapi, Reporter

The Evanston City Council unanimously approved a 3 percent water rate increase at its Monday meeting.

For the average single family home, one that consumes approximately 86,000 gallons a year, the annual water bill will increase $5.39, jumping from $186.19 to $191.58, according to a city memo.

Aldermen had the option of instituting the rate hike on either Jan. 1 or delaying the hike until Jul. 1, 2013, the option ultimately selected.

Evanston will still have lower water rates than any other municipality in the Chicago area, Ald. Jane Grover (7th) said at Monday’s council meeting.

The sewer rate, which has not been raised since 2004, will not be affected by the proposal, utilities director David Stoneback said. Ald. Delores Holmes (5th) said many residents consider this part of their bills to be expensive.

Further, residents have expressed concern over the continuous water bill increases, city manager Wally Bobkiewicz said at the meeting. Despite paying some of the lowest water rates in the area, residents think water rates in Evanston are too high, Bobkiewicz said.

Regardless, residents believe the city does not do a good job handling this issue and must improve how citizens are informed on water rates.

Olga Gonzalez Latapi