Glenwood officials discuss water contract

2013-06-11T22:45:00Z 2013-06-12T00:05:16Z Glenwood officials discuss water contractPAUL CZAPKOWICZ Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 11, 2013 10:45 pm  • 

GLENWOOD | The Glenwood Board of Trustees met Tuesday to discuss its water contract with Chicago Heights. The contract expires next month.

Glenwood had considered litigation last year against Chicago Heights regarding a disagreement over who owns the water line from which both municipalities receive water from Hammond.

Glenwood Village President Kerry Durkin said Glenwood is an equity owner of the line, while Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez has maintained his city is the sole owner.

Durkin said Gonzalez visited him recently and asked if Glenwood intends to litigate or come to some sort of settlement.

Durkin told the Village Board on Tuesday it might be better if Glenwood does not claim ownership of the line.

"It may actually be in the best interest of the citizens of the village of Glenwood if you accept the position of Chicago Heights and assume a role as a customer," Durkin said.

He said that as a customer the village would not be responsible for what is expected to be a $3.5 million rebuild of a pump station located in Lansing.

"The positive of being an owner is that there's certainty in your delivery cost of water," Durkin said. "But with being an owner there's also the uncertainty in the maintenance of the line."

Durkin said the village has the option of entering into a proposed 20-year, nonexclusive contract with Chicago Heights that the village could essentially opt out of at anytime.

Durkin said if the village assumes the role of an equity stakeholder the cost to deliver water would likely be less.

"But there is a significant amount of liability that goes with it," he said.

The board went into closed session at the end of Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting in an attempt to reach a decision.

"It's either going down a litigation path or a resolution path," Village Attorney John Donahue said.

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