Oak Forest residents with overdue water bills will face harsher repercussions from the city—including possible liens to cover the bills.
Under the updated ordinance approved Feb. 12, if a water bill goes unpaid for 105 days, the city can place a lien in the amount of the bill. Previously, the ordinance only accounted for unpaid sewerage bills.
The ordinance applies to all properties—even those foreclosed upon. If a lien is placed on a foreclosed home, the bill is paid when the home is sold.
Recently, residents saw a water rate increase, set in place to cover an increase in the cost of water from suppliers Oak Lawn and the city of Chicago.
The water rate in Oak Forest increased to a volume rate of 63 cents per 1,000 gallons; the average resident will pay about $13 more per quarter, or $52 more per year.
The city is currently operating with a $700,000 deficit in the city's Water and Sewer Fund.
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