City to Pressure Homeowners Behind on Water Bills

Oak Forest aldermen Feb. 12 decided that after 105 days of unpaid water bills, they'll put a lien on the owner's property.

Oak Forest residents with overdue water bills will face harsher repercussions  from the city—including possible liens to cover the bills. 

Under the updated ordinance approved Feb. 12, if a water bill goes unpaid for 105 days, the city can place a lien in the amount of the bill. Previously, the ordinance only accounted for unpaid sewerage bills. 

The ordinance applies to all properties—even those foreclosed upon. If a lien is placed on a foreclosed home, the bill is paid when the home is sold. 

Recently, residents saw a water rate increase, set in place to cover an increase in the cost of water from suppliers Oak Lawn and the city of Chicago.

The water rate in Oak Forest increased to a volume rate of 63 cents per 1,000 gallons; the average resident will pay about $13 more per quarter, or $52 more per year.

The city is currently operating with a $700,000 deficit in the city's Water and Sewer Fund.


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SomeGuyNamedEd February 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Oak Forest, you're doing it wrong. In this case, you don't want to increase pressure, you want to decrease it. When the water stops flowing...you'll get their attention.
phxdr February 22, 2013 at 03:15 AM
Someguynameded- We have never been late paying our water bill. There are however many many people living paycheck to paycheck. Some are now having to choose between water, mortgage or food. Maybe you need to walk a few miles in these people's shoes before you pass judgement. There are few people I would like to see in that kind of desperate financial situation (those of the Oak Forest city council are some of the few I would like to see in this position).


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