Monday, December 27, 2010

Hey Big Spender! Spend It All on Your Sanitary Lateral Lines!

This blog identified on November 11, 2010 that, in July 2009, AECOM reported to the City of HP that many other municipalities in Northern Illinois were addressing city infrastructure flooding problems by implementing programs to repair sanitary laterals along with sanitary sewer mains. We pointed out that the community of Downer's Grove pays for any lateral repairs, unlike HP that puts the large cost directly on you.

Moving through the AECOM report, let's now look at Naperville, IL. According to AECOM, Naperville inspects sanitary laterals and identifies those that they "recommend" need repair. ("Recommend" – what a nice word! In HP it is demanded upon penalty of having a lien placed against your home.)

Naperville then enters into an agreement with the property owner to repair the lateral all the way to the residence. ALL WORK IS PAID FOR BY NAPERVILLE. Accordingly to AECOM, "the City points to a reduction in wastewater flows to their treatment plant, and ultimately a reduction in treatment costs as an indication of program success."

So how is that our City Manager, David Limardi, had recommended to City Hall, that individual residents pay for all sanitary sewer lateral repairs? How is it possible that Mayor Belsky and ALL the Councilmen then voted in favor of having targeted individual residents pay for sanitary sewer lateral repairs? Why is it that your elected officials in Highland Park decide YOU have to pay for repairs to enhance the City infrastructure while other communities know that the municipality needs to budget for this?

Could it be that your City Councilmen just don't care about you? Or do they hold you in such high esteem that they think you are all wealthy enough to write out a $5,000-20,000 check whenever they send you a mailing?

One thing we DO know. City Council was aware of this report in July 2009, 6 months after vigorous neighborhood complaints on the subject. It's now nearly January 2011. And not a single Councilman has acted to address this inequitable program that targets you as big spenders. Worse yet, when mayoral candidate Terri Olian finally did bring up the issue at the recent budget meetings, she was a lone voice. There wasn't one single Councilman who was supportive of her proposal. They were all silent or voiced their objection to reimbursing the people who were already coerced into paying upon threat of an enforceable lien.

Please talk to the mayoral candidates and tell them you need to see action NOW!! And, tell the City Council candidates that they need to take a stand now. Don't support anyone unless their actions confirm their opposition to targeting individual residents for the Sanitary Sewer Program. Do this before it is too late, before you get your letter from the City demanding payment. The program may be "on hiatus" but it is very much alive.

If you'd like your own copy of the AECOM report, write me at and provide your e-mail address. Thank you!

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