A number of communities are attempting to buy the Illinois American Water Company franchise located outside of Chicago.
Villages are attempting to sell bonds for their share of the cost. How foolish. There is no recognition that simply because the communities think the property interest is worth $34,000,000, then that is the correct fair market value of the water company franchise.
This offers local bond attorneys a great chance to have a second round of bonds after the real obligation is determined by a court. This is not a good thing for the communities involved.
Smyth, senior manager of field services and production in the company’s regional division, warned that if the Northern Will County Water Agency pursues eminent domain to take over the transmission line that it could “cost taxpayers millions of dollars.”
“We will win, it’s just a matter of how much,” said Village Attorney Burt Odelson, regarding eminent domain.
The law allows for eminent domain takeover, with the cost of purchase to be determined in court, Odelson said.
The village most recently budgeted $8.8 million in potential bonds for the 20.6 percent cost—of the $34 million offer on Friday—that the village is responsible for in acquiring the Bedford Park line that brings Lake Michigan water to the southwest suburbs, village officials said.