Niles pursues lawsuit against Glenview for unpaid water bills
Updated: April 30, 2013 2:13PM
GLENVIEW — Niles will continue its lawsuit against Glenview in seeking $9.3 million in unpaid water bills.
In April 2011, Glenview began withholding water payments it collected from customers in an interest-bearing escrow account that now totals $10 million, until the Niles’ water rate can be determined.
Glenview claimed Niles charged too much for water it sold to Glenview-owned North Maine Water Utility.
The utility has served 4,900 accounts in unincorporated Maine Township near Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview and Park Ridge since 2008.
Niles charges North Maine to purchase the water, and Niles sets the rate.
On March 19, a Cook County judge ruled that Niles overcharged Glenview for water from April 2010 to July 2011, but a dollar sum was undetermined.
Niles, however, still claims Glenview is not fulfilling its contract.
“Under the contract (between) Niles and Glenview, Glenview is obligated to pay all undisputed invoice amounts,” stated Niles’ attorney William J. Plunkett in a release.
“Our hope is that both parties can work out a settlement instead of spending taxpayers’ money in a trial,” said attorney Eric Patt, representing Glenview.
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.
In another side to the longstanding dispute, Patt said Niles violated the contract by failing to charge customers its lowest rate.
In court filings Niles agreed that it offered 75 of its 30,000 residents a 19 percent rebate to cover sewer charges for 15 months from April 2010 to July 2011.
“Niles acknowledged that the lower rate Niles charged to the 75 residents should have been the rate charged to Glenview,” said Plunkett’s release.
He also said the remaining 81 percent of the charges should not be disputed.
He said that while 19 percent of the rate over 15 months may be in dispute, 81 percent of the charges are not.
“Barring a resolution of the dispute, Niles said it will continue to pursue its lawsuit,” Plunkett stated.