Oak Forest water pact costs grow
By Sarah Zavala Correspondent August 16, 2012 8:24AM
Updated: September 20, 2012 6:17AM
Negotiations for the long-term water supply contract with Oak Lawn are still pending, and the costs are adding up, one Oak Forest city official said.
“Is there an end in sight to these costs?” Ald. Richard Simon (2nd) said. “As far as I am concerned, we have spent too much money already.”
During the Aug. 14 city council meeting, aldermen, including Simon, approved spending an additional $8,000 with Holland and Knight, the law firm working on the contract.
For the past year, Oak Forest, along with Tinley Park, Orland Park, New Lenox and Mokena, has been working on the contract for the Lake Michigan water that comes from Chicago through the Oak Lawn system.
Oak Lawn provides 12 municipalities with water at wholesale prices and is amping up for a $90 million overhaul to its water system.
Oak Forest Mayor Henry Kuspa said the money approved by the council is mainly for engineering work to review Oak Lawn’s overhaul plan, but some will be used for attorneys.
Currently, the contract project costs total about $401,000. Based on water usage, Oak Forest’s prorated share of that cost is 11 percent or about $44,000.
“We should be able to wrap this up by year’s end,”Kuspa said.