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The original item was published from 9/12/2013 11:31:13 AM to 2/18/2014 9:24:31 AM.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011

[ARCHIVED] Niles Sues Glenview Over Unpaid Water Bills

The Village of Niles filed a lawsuit in Cook County Chancery Court on Wednesday, June 22 seeking payment of nearly $700,000 in water charges due from the Village of Glenview. Glenview is withholding all payments as part of a water rate protest.

In 1990, the Village of Niles entered into a 30-year contract with North Suburban Public Utility Co. (“NSPUC”), whereby the Village of Niles was to purchase Lake Michigan water from Chicago, construct $3.4 million worth of facilities to transport the water to “NSPUC” for its 44,000 residents and NSPUC was to pay each month for that water. The contract runs to 2020.

In 1997, the Village of Glenview purchased NSPUC and renamed it North Maine Utility and assumed the 30-year water contract with the Village of Niles. For 14 years, the Village of Glenview for North Maine Utility has paid its monthly water bills without dispute or objection. But, in May of 2011, the Village of Glenview refused to pay its water bills for April of $338,198.50 and May for $359,860.00, claiming that it will not pay the bills until it comes in and audits the Village of Niles’ records. The Village of Niles continues to buy water from the City of Chicago and transport it to North Maine Utility, losing approximately $500,000 per month because the Village of Glenview refuses to pay.

The Village of Glenview claims the Village of Niles overcharges it for the water in two regards:
(1) It adds in a “sewer charge” on the bills; and(2) It does not charge North Maine Utility the lowest rate charged Niles residents.

The Village of Niles believes these allegations of overcharging lack merit and are not correct:
(1) The Village of Niles does not have a “sewer charge.” North Maine Utility adds a “sewer charge” to its water bills to its 44,000 residents of about 1/9th of the water charge, but the Village of Niles does not.(2) The Village of Niles charges all its residents a water charge of $5.05 per 1,000 gallons. But, North Maine Utility charges 75 Niles residents who receive “sewer services” from it a “sewer charge.” And, the Village of Niles makes an “accommodation” for those 75 residents to offset North Maine Utility’s “sewer charge.”

The Village of Glenview’s position for North Maine Utility is somewhat unclear, but it appears that the Village of Glenview is claiming that because the North Maine Utility makes a “sewer charge” to 75 Village of Niles residents and the Village of Niles makes an “accommodation” to those 75 residents to account for North Maine Utility’s “sewer charge,” the Village of Niles should make a similar “accommodation” for all 44,000 North Maine Utility residents.

In its lawsuit, the Village of Niles seeks relief in two forms:
(1) that the Village of Glenview pay its unpaid invoices; and(2) that the Village of Glenview honor its contract through its end in 2020.

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