Glenview wins ruling in water rate dispute with Niles
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:37AM
GLENVIEW — Citing partial victory, Glenview officials expressed satisfaction Friday that a Cook County judge ruled the village of Niles overcharged Glenview for water.
The judge did not say how much money was overcharged, but Glenview’s attorney, Eric Patt, said the judge agreed the overcharging occurred from April 2010 to July 2011.
In the long-standing dispute, Glenview claimed Niles charged too much for water it sold to Glenview-owned North Maine Water Utility.
The utility has served 4,900 customers in unincorporated Maine Township near Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview and Park Ridge since 2008, Glenview officials said.
“We won that part of the case,” Patt said. “A factual determination ruling in court found out that we were overcharged from 2010 to 2011.”
The Glenview attorney also said Niles violated the contract by failing to charge customers its lowest rate.
Patt added that it hasn’t been undetermined if Niles illegally charged for sewer services from 2002 to 2011.
“Our hope is that both parties can work out a settlement instead of spending taxpayers’ money in a trial,” Patt said.
Niles village officials were unavailable for comment Friday.
When Glenview bought North Maine Utilities in 1997, it had a long-term contract to buy Lake Michigan water from Niles. The deal expires in 2020.
Niles charges North Maine to purchase the water, and Niles sets the rate.
Because North Maine receives no sewer services from Niles, Glenview contends the water rate should not have anything to do with Niles’ sewer service, said Lynne Stiefel, Glenview communications director.
In April 2011, Glenview began withholding water payments it collected from customers in an interest-bearing escrow account, until the Niles’ water rate can be determined.
In June 2011, Niles filed a lawsuit against Glenview, asking a judge to force the village into payments.
Glenview filed a counterclaim the next month.
A judge denied Niles’ motion to dismiss Glenview’s counterclaim and Niles’ motion to limit the scope of the audit Glenview has requested.