Greener Grass, Cooler Days, And Higher Utility Rates

What’s good for the residents of Naperville, isn’t necessarily good for city officials. It’s been a mild summer this year, not too warm and plentiful rain to keep the lawns green. Air conditioning hasn’t been necessary for a good part of the summer, and residents haven’t had the need to be sitting when they opened their utility bills. Overall you could say the residents and businesses of Naperville caught a much needed break.

Giving residents a break is one of the last things Naperville city officials wanted. They would have preferred triple-digit heat waves and non-stop lawn watering during approved hours. City officials need the revenue generated from the utilities in order to cover their bad decisions involving the city owned electric utility, and the city water department. Naperville’s electric utility was millions of dollars in the red. So city officials had the bright idea to borrow millions from Naperville’s water department to cover electric, thinking they could squeeze additional dollars out of the residents this summer. It didn’t happen.

That means the Naperville city council has three choices to cover the money they didn’t get to cover the bad decisions they made. They can do something creative. That won’t happen because creativity is not part of city manager Doug Krieger’s strategic plan. They can cut expenses. That won’t happen because the only cutting the council does is with with a three-foot scissors during grand openings. Which means city officials will do what they always do; raise the utility rates for electric and water. There goes the much needed break that residents had this summer.

City officials will win the one-sided battle of higher utility rates. They’ll high-five each other during closed session, and then after the vote, they’ll head to downtown Naperville to their favorite liquor-licensed facility to catch last-call, down a few shots and head home with another battle victory over residents.

In just 205 days (April 7, 2015) voters will decide which, if any, council members will be re-elected. It’s very possible that more than half will be gone. Residents may again catch a very needed break, but this time, rather than relying on Mother Nature,  they will be making it happen at the voting booth.

Show 2 Comments


  1. Gerard H Schilling

    They are making weekend roadblocks and car checks the preferred revenue extortion technique to augment there continual income short falls plus applying for every Government grant program from the Federal and State governments. Between the two they continue to antagonize the citizens and commit them to onerous Federal regulations covering use of personal property (water and rain tax) carbon usage (smart meters) mandating unconstitutional requirements on businesses for green crap etc.

  2. Taggert

    According to the July Managers Memo, the Electric Utility was projected to have a negative cash flow of $2.5M deficit this year. Staff is own increasing its projections to a negative $3.6M. This is after the Council borrowed $14 M from our over priced Water Utility. The losses continue to mount, despite rate increases. How does Council propose to pay back our Water Utility? More rate hikes? The whole “green” reason for the “smart meter” fiasco was to save the planet by encouraging citizens to use less energy. Now the reasons for the red ink is being blamed on citizens using less electricity. Can’t someone get their story straight?

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