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Lansing to phase in water rate increase

LANSING, Ill. (June 19, 2023) – When Lansing residents turn on their faucets and showers on the morning of July 1, it will be more expensive to do so than the night before.

Starting in July, the Village of Lansing will phase in a water rate hike that will see the water portion of utility bills increase by 44% by next spring. The increase will be applied by increments throughout residents’ next three billing cycles.

Hike from Hammond

Lansing receives all of its water from Hammond, Indiana as part of a 20-year water contract signed in 2006. Terms of the contract state that Hammond can change water rates every three years. According to Lansing Village Administrator Dan Podgorski, Hammond charges municipalities slightly more than its own residents for water, so as Hammond raised its water rate for its own residents, it raised Lansing’s as well.

Lansing’s rate has been $1.12 per thousand gallons of water, a rate that will ultimately change to $3.78 per thousand gallons.

Phase-in

The increase will be introduced in increments throughout the next three billing cycles. The water rate will increase on the following schedule:

  • Current — $1.12
  • July 1 — $2.50
  • October 1 — $3.12
  • January 1, 2024 — $3.78

Although the first increase takes effect on July 1, residents will not see it reflected on their bills until October, when the July-September usage period comes due.

The new rate structure was approved by the Lansing Village Board at its June 6 Village Board meeting.

“Borrowed time”

“We get our water through the City of Hammond, and Lansing has been living on borrowed time paying only $1.12 for a thousand gallons of water. I mean think about that … I don’t think people realize how much a thousand gallons is,” said Brian Hanigan, Lansing’s finance director.

Podgorski echoed the sentiment at a May Village Board meeting, saying, “Lansing for years has enjoyed probably the lowest rates of anybody in the area. I still believe after these [new] rates are passed along, we will still have one of the lowest rates in the area.”

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Lansing Village Administrator Dan Podgorski speaks at the May 2, 2023 Village Board meeting. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“So, it’s not great news, but it’s necessary,” Podgorski continued, also praising Hammond for being “great to work with” during the years of Lansing’s water contract.

Hanigan said Lansing’s water rate increase will not profit the Village, and will only cover the increased cost of water coming to Lansing from Hammond.

Impact on residents’ bills

Though the raw material cost of one thousand gallons of water has been $1.12, the final cost for a thousand gallons is $5.98, a sum that takes into account Lansing Public Works’ involvement.

“The difference between the $5.98 and the $1.12 is the cost of Lansing having its own water division as part of Public Works, and taking care of water mains, and doing all the piping within the town,” Hanigan said. “$1.12 is just the cost of the raw material.”

Lansing’s overall rate of $5.98 per thousand gallons will increase over the next three billing periods as follows:

  • Current — $5.98
  • July 1 — $7.36 (23% increase from current)
  • October 1 — $7.98 (33% increase from current)
  • January 1, 2024 — $8.64 (44% increase from current)

At the May 2 Village Board meeting, Hanigan provided a hypothetical water bill in which a resident used 20,000 gallons of water in a billing period. The future charges are included below:

  • Current — $119.60
  • July 1 — $147.20
  • October 1 — $159.60
  • January 1, 2024 — $172.80 (plus 3% cost of living adjustment)
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Lansing Finance Director Brian Hanigan shows how a hypothetical resident’s usage would be affected by the water rate increase during a Village Board meeting on May 2. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The final phase of the new rate, which starts during the first billing period of next year, will be locked in until Lansing’s contract with Hammond ends in 2026.

Comparison

At the May 2 Village Board meeting, Hanigan also compared Lansing’s rate against those of nearby municipalities. Lansing’s final water rate of $8.64 per thousand gallons, he showed, will be less than many other towns, including Flossmoor, Glenwood, Hazel Crest, Homewood, South Holland, and Thornton.

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Brian Hanigan show Lansing’s current water rate compared to nearby municipalities. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

More information about paying utility bills in Lansing is available at www.villageoflansing.org/how_do_i/pay_my_utility_bill.

Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The price of water ,garbage and sewer has increased a lot since the Norm Abbot era. Homewood Disposal came in with the lowest bid so him and his buddy Jay Weinsma said lets go for it ! It was only low for that first year to get their foot in the door i n Lansing ,It has gone up and up every year since. Lansing should have kept there own garbage service, It was the best around ! Alot of water main breaks and related water issues are usually farmed out to Calumey City Plumbing . What ever happened to our great concrete crew ? Don;t get me started on streets and alleys ! Fox Pointe is a beautiful venue and have enjoyed it myself several times, but Lansing has alot of streets that need attention . Not to mention sewer lines. Our infrastructure is pretty much a mess, This town does do alot of nice things but I watched a segment on U-Tube TV the other night about Gary Indiana and what happen there ! Seems Lansing is following in the ame foot steps . Hope I am wrong !

  2. We have had a very low water rate per/thousand gallons for many years. Nobody wants to see an increase, but what hasn’t gone up. I had assumed incorrectly that the “water department”, excluding the actual cost of the water used, was funded through the public works department and that department was funded like all the other Village departments (fire, police, buildings, IT, administration….) through the annual Village tax levy. That’s my mistake (and proves my wife pays the water bill not me). All in all, I feel the Village does a great job using the revenue they receive for all the things they need to fund.

  3. Carl (Herby) Dorris respectfully, if you could show me the numbers that show the facts that the cost of purchasing garbage trucks, maintaining that equipment, hiring the personnel to operate it including wages and benefits, and disposal costs of the garbage has a payback of more than 7-10% per year over using Homewood Disposal, maybe we should considered that Lansing so go back to having their own garbage trucks and leaf vacuum trucks (which I personally miss). The water price increase is based on Hammond’s increase to Lansing. Streets is an entirely a different issue. How many of us don’t buy gasoline in Illinois but go to Indiana to buy gas? I do. That gasoline tax goes to Indiana and none of it works its way back through Illinois to Lansing for street maintenance.

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