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DuPage Water Fee buys Northbrook golf course for $80 million

The DuPage Water Fee, which has its headquarters in Elmhurst, has bought a Northbrook property.
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The DuPage Water Fee has bought a former golf course in Northbrook for $80.5 million in a transfer that might doubtlessly pave the way in which for a “once-in-a-lifetime” regional water pipeline mission, officers introduced Wednesday.

The company continues to be within the early levels of evaluating whether or not to construct its personal pipeline from Lake Michigan and circumvent town of Chicago, its present provider.

If the fee decides to chop ties with Chicago, it may take 12 to fifteen years to construct the required infrastructure and value roughly $5.3 billion to $7 billion, relying on the pipeline route they take, officers estimate.

The fee moved shortly to purchase the 127-acre property in Northbrook due to its proximity to Lake Michigan, electrical transmission amenities in addition to railroad and freeway corridors.

“Lake Michigan is a pure useful resource,” mentioned Jim Zay, chairman of the water fee’s board. “Simply because the Metropolis of Chicago is up towards it doesn’t suggest that you may’t go elsewhere to get water. They usually’ve made it fairly apparent that they, I suppose, don’t desire us as a buyer anymore. They will not discuss to us and will not work with us. So we now have to take these subsequent steps ahead.”

Fee leaders have had preliminary talks with Glencoe officers about gaining access to Lake Michigan by means of the village and met with federal lawmakers, Zay mentioned. Officers described the previous Inexperienced Acres Golf Membership property in close by Northbrook as uniquely fitted to the mission — particularly for a water therapy plant and a pumping station.

“We don’t want 127 acres. We’re unsure what number of we’d like, however we don’t want the entire parcel,” mentioned Zay, noting the fee nonetheless has to do a land-use plan.

The company used reserves to pay for the property, a “main piece of the potential for us constructing a water plant up there,” Zay mentioned.

“We didn’t lose that cash. We made an $80 million actual property buy in order that’s nonetheless an asset for us sooner or later,” he mentioned.

The fee, which gives ingesting water to just about three dozen communities in DuPage County, from Naperville to Wheaton to Elmhurst, is Chicago’s greatest water consumer.

One level of competition between the water fee and town is the deal town struck with Joliet to provide water to that metropolis. Chicago is utilizing a so-called “value of service” mannequin to calculate the speed Joliet can pay for water. As soon as operational, it’s estimated Joliet can pay between $2.50 and $3 per 1,000 gallons of water.

Against this, DuPage can pay town $122 million this yr to pump water to residents, paying $4.54 per 1,000 gallons.

“The economics now current a chance for a brand new regional system to be constructed which can place suburban communities in northeastern Illinois to handle water assets in a means which gives improved governance and ensures price stability for future generations of Lake Michigan water shoppers,” fee Common Supervisor Paul Might mentioned in a press release Wednesday.

The fee in February introduced the 2 sides agreed to a 17-year, shorter-term contract to increase their settlement with Chicago. A metropolis official couldn’t be reached for remark.

Every day Herald workers author Jake Griffin contributed to this report.

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