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Local News

Lori Lightfoot coming to Joliet to make case for Chicago water

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will come to town to help make her city's case to be Joliet's next water supplier.

Both Lightfoot and Hammond, Indiana Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. will take part presentations to the City Council next month as Joliet nears a decision on its future water supply, Mayor Bob O'Dekirk said Thursday.

"That gives you an idea on how seriously these communities take what we are are trying to do," O'Dekirk said at a City Council workshop meeting on the water project.

Joliet is considering two options as it looks at Lake Michigan as the future source of city water. The city will either buy water from Chicago or build its own pipeline to Indiana.

Presentations by officials from both Chicago and Hammond will be made Dec. 17 at the next council workshop meeting on the water project, and O'Dekirk said the two mayors will be there as well.

Chicago has already made a unique offer in which the cost for water would be based solely on the infrastructure used to deliver water to Joliet, said Theresa O'Grady, a project manager on the consultant team working on the project.

The proposed cost structure is "significantly different than what Chicago has with their other customers," O'Grady said.

O'Dekirk commended Councilwoman Sherri Reardon, who proposed that Joliet put off a final decision while exploring both options.

"I think that already has helped in our negotiations," O'Dekirk said. "That was the right way to approach this."

The City Council is expected to make a decision between the Chicago and Hammond options in January.

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