Federal court dismisses Skokie’s lawsuit over Evanston water rates


Daily file photo by Daniel Tian

Evanston began construction to supply water to Lincolnwood.

Samantha Handler, City Editor

A federal court on Friday dismissed the Village of Skokie’s lawsuit against Evanston over claims the city unlawfully charged Skokie increased water rates, leaving the matter up to state courts.

Skokie as well as three Skokie residents and a local business sued Evanston in June claiming the rate at which Evanston charges Skokie for water violates the Skokie plaintiffs’ rights to due process and equal protection under the law. The lawsuit named the City of Evanston, Mayor Steve Hagerty and all Evanston aldermen as defendants.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kocoras granted Evanston’s motion Friday to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Skokie does not have standing to sue in federal court because Skokie has yet to pay the increased rate.

The Circuit Court of Cook County still has to determine if Evanston’s new water rate is valid, and until then it is possible that Skokie will never have to pay the rate.

Evanston has sold water to Skokie since 1944. The new rate for Skokie is $2.06 per 1,000 gallons while Evanston charges Niles and Morton Grove $0.78 cents per 1,000 gallons. Evanston and Skokie entered into negotiations over water rates after a 30-year contract expired in 2017.

Evanston filed a complaint in state court in 2017 alleging that Skokie has not been paying the new rate.

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