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Higher water bills on tap for Orland Park

If approved $16.4 milliloan would pay for Lindenhurst  water system upgrades first step bringing Lake Michigan water serve municipality.

If approved, a $16.4 million loan would pay for Lindenhurst water system upgrades, a first step in bringing Lake Michigan water to serve the municipality. | AP file photo

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Updated: February 24, 2013 6:16AM



Orland Park trustees on Monday approved water rate increases that will add about $64 a year to the typical residential water bill.

Much of the increase, retroactive to Jan. 1, is because of Chicago’s 15 percent increase in the wholesale rate it charges suburbs for Lake Michigan water. It follows a 25 percent hike that took effect at the start of 2012. Additional increases of 15 percent also will hit Orland Park and other suburbs on Jan. 1 of 2014 and 2015.

A smaller share of the increase is the result of Oak Lawn — which delivers lake water from Chicago to Orland Park and 11 other towns — raising its water rate to help pay for a multimillion-dollar upgrade of its water system, including a bigger pipeline and a second line, to meet rising demand for lake water.

Orland Park and four other communities — Mokena, New Lenox, Oak Forest and Tinley Park — are negotiating a new supply agreement with Oak Lawn.

In other action Monday, village trustees adopted a resolution calling on the Cook County Forest Preserve District to consult with communities where it intends to make land purchases.

The resolution stems from last fall’s purchase by the district of 161 acres of farmland that will become part of the Orland Grassland preserve.

The forest preserve district paid $8 million for the property — which is bordered by 179th Street on the north, 183rd Street on the south, St. Xavier University’s Orland Park campus on the east and 104th Avenue on the west.

Village officials were upset over the acquisition because they had long-range plans for homes on the property and weren’t told by district officials about plans to buy the land.

The resolution calls on the district to do a fiscal analysis prior to a land purchase to gauge the potential impact on a community. A similar resolution was adopted by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association.

Also Monday night, the village board approved a special use zoning permit for Indra’s Thai Restaurant, which will occupy 2,200 square feet at 15880 Wolf Road in the County West Plaza strip mall. The space was previously occupied by Chicago Taste Gyros. The new restaurant will offer sit-down dining as well as carry-out.

Trustees also agreed to lease 500 square feet inside village hall to U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) for a satellite office. It will be similar to an office Lipinski plans to open this week in Lockport in the same building that houses the city and township offices.

In Orland Park, Lipinski will pay monthly rent of $550, starting in February and continuing until the end of his current term in January 2015.



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