The Village of Willowbrook recently learned that the DuPage Water Commission (DWC), the organization from which we purchase water for resale to our residents and businesses, had been charging operating expenses to reserve accounts. This reduced the reserves from $26 million to $7 million.
As a result, the DWC Board retained a financial advisory firm to perform a forensic audit in order to determine exactly what happened and who is responsible. With this information, the DWC Board will then assess what further action should be taken.
It is clear, however, that Willowbrook, along with the other 29 cities and villages, will share in the burden of this problem. DWC has approximately $53 million in bond payments due before May 1, 2010, and has indicated a sizable water rate increase will need to be implemented. While the exact rate has not been approved, initial projections indicate an increase of approximately 50%.
The Village will keep you posted as new facts surface and concrete decisions are made.