Rural residents seek water access
By Tona Kunz
Chicago Daily Herald
April 15, 2003
Pollution from Lockformer Co. has left more than just
area wells contaminated. It has put a bad flavor on relationships
between homeowners and those who can help them get clean
Some Suburban Estates residents in an unincorporated
area near Woodridge have hired an attorney to fight the
deal they have been offered for clean water.
"Nobody is looking out for our interests,"
homeowner Terry Lohse said.
The neighborhood's wells are contaminated, and residents
want to tap into Lake Michigan water through the village
of Woodridge and the DuPage Water Commission. Lohse also
wants to do that without being forced to annex to the
village, as neighborhoods in Downers Grove and Naperville
were allowed to do. Staying unincorporated, she said,
will keep taxes low, property values high and maintain
the neighborhood's rural feel.
Woodridge officials say just because other communities
provide water hookups to those outside their boundaries
doesn't mean they will as well.
Although user fees will pay off loans to build the water
lines, the village backs the loan. By agreeing to potentially
annex in 10 years, users give the village a type of collateral
and help fulfill the long-range goal of absorbing land
in the village's planning circle.
"If you want municipal services, then join us as
a community," village Administrator John Perry said.
How the villages handle the request for water is up to
them, said Roger Jenisch, chairman of the DuPage County
Public Works Commission, which is reviewing the water
"I really wish the municipalities would get beyond
forcing people to annex for water because we are all paying
the quarter-cent sales tax" to the DuPage Water Commission,
he said. But as long as Woodridge offers the water to
nearby homeowners and at a reasonable rate, it conforms
to the DuPage Mayors and Managers agreement.
Besides, Jenisch said, the annexation agreement is as
good those agreements get.