Tues. 10:15 pm: Niles proposes water rate increases to plug budget holes

NILES – Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia said the city needs to raise water rates during a contentious finance meeting on Tuesday.

If the plan goes through, water customers will be charged 15 cents more per 100 cubic feet – up from $2.98 to $3.13 – but that isn’t the only increase consumers will see on their bill.

The plan is to also charge a flat fee of $5 more per month for residents and $10 more per month for commercial and industrial users, Scarnecchia said. The plan is to enact the increases for the December billing cycle, he said.

The 15-cent increase will be used for operational expenses and the flat rate would go toward the capital improvements the department is responsible for, Scarnecchia said.

The water department needs cash to address its aging water towers, troubled waterlines, broken fire hydrants and to install 5,000 water meters that have been collecting dust in the city’s unused pool in Waddell Park.

Read more in Wednesday’s Tribune Chronicle.