North Shore Sanitary District freezes connection fees for 3 years

Headquarters of the North Shore Sanitary District in Gurnee. | Ed Collins / For Sun-Times Media
Headquarters of the North Shore Sanitary District in Gurnee. | Ed Collins / For Sun-Times Media

On the heels of a $43 per connection increase last year, North Shore Sanitary District trustees have agreed to freeze their service-related sanitary connection fees for the next three years.

The current fee for a single-family home within the 15-community district runs $1,722. The district is the second largest in Illinois with over 60,000 wastewater users east of the Tri-State Tollway (I-94) between Lake Cook Road and the Wisconsin border.

In voting for the fee freeze, trustees noted another year over year decrease in the district’s equalized assessed value (EAV). This marks the fifth consecutive year in which property within the district has lost value, according to NSSD Assistant General Manager David Miller.

“More than $2.5 billion of value has been lost during this five-year period, a cumulative 25 percent drop,” Miller said.

Trustees also received a presentation about alternative rate methodologies provided by members of the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies. NSSD officials said they found little consistency in the association’s survey.

“Their practices are no better than what we are already using,” Miller said.

During the meeting, NSSD also was recognized for excellence by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. The district received two Peak Performance Platinum Awards which signify 100 percent compliance in discharging clean wastewater for reuse required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The district’s Waukegan Sanitary Treatment Plant was just one of 14 facilities in the country to receive the recognition. The district’s Gurnee treatment plant was also recognized for five straight years of EPA clean water compliance.

NSSD serves residents in Waukegan, Gurnee (east of I-94), Highland Park, Highwood, Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Bannockburn, North Chicago, Park City, Zion, Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor, Great Lakes, Fort Sheridan, part of Deerfield, and other unincorporated areas.

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