Morton Grove Melodrama Part 8- Other People’s Money


There is an old saying that “timing is everything”. There’s another one that says “there is no such thing as coincidence”.

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Last week, you might remember, we were talking about the five year dither by the Morton Grove administration regarding sourcing water from Evanston because of the 100% plus rate increase imposed by Chicago. The question was why was it taking so long to get this deal done and how much higher was the cost going to be because of the apparent delay?

Surprisingly, a few days after our last story, an article appeared in the Evanston Now publication that announced a deal between Morton Grove, Niles and Evanston for supplying water. Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz said the agreement; “provides Evanston with additional revenue to fund service and facility improvements, he said, while offering the residents of Morton Grove and Niles lower water rates for years to come. It will  yield over a million dollars a year in new net revenue to the city. ” 000000wheelbarrow-of-money

Back in 2012 Public Works Director, DeMonte, said that the infrastructure build-out to connect to Evanston could run as high as $35 million and he questioned if that would eat up any savings. Now, news reports are that this deal will fund service and facility improvements in Evanston’s infrastructure while providing $1 million additional net revenue into the Evanston treasury. Good deal for Evanston tax payers having your neighbors pay for improvements and then ponying up an additional million dollars a year to boot.

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Sometimes it seems that elected officials forget that they are spending other people’s money… taxpayer’s money… your money. This tends to lead to less than best practices regarding the government purse.

Morton Grove News is investigation the cost of village government vs the benefits to Morton Grove residents. We wonder, for example, why there appears to be crony white collar patronage and why the budget line item under “administration” is just under $500,000 this year. We’ll keep digging and report back next week.

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One thought on “Morton Grove Melodrama Part 8- Other People’s Money

  1. As a follow up to the 1/24/2017 article, there was a follow up by the Evanston Round Table publication http://www.evanstonroundtable.com/main.asp?SectionID=15&SubSectionID=26&ArticleID=13116 entitled: “City Officials Speak on Morton Grove-Niles Water Sales”. The last three paragraphs of of the article isays the following: “Mr. Stoneback said he anticipates rates will rise significantly in about 2019, adding, “We anticipate that the 5 million gallon treated-water storage in the parking lot opposite the water plant will [then] be complete, and that asset gets rolled into their share of the costs for the water plant.”

    A later replacement of a major intake at the plant will also necessitate an increase. “Any time there is a major investment at the water plant, all of our wholesale water customers help to participate in that,” Mr. Stoneback said. He noted that since Chicago’s rates are so high, Evanston could still come in at a lower bid and get the full return on its investment.

    Morton Grove and Niles would represent about 13.3 percent of the users of the water plant.

    So now we know that Morton Grovers will get to “participate”, (isn’t that a warm and fuzzy way to characterize paying someone else’s bill?) in the cost of infrastructure for Evanston and, the new deal notwithstanding can expect another rate increase in 2019.

    As the churchlady from Saturday Night Live might say; “Well, isn’t that special?”

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