Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan Sunday to recover nearly $15 million from neighboring suburbs for past-due water services provided by the city.
Under the payment plan, more than two-thirds of the owed money would be paid back by the beginning of 2013, according to an issued statement.
"Chicago taxpayers can no longer underwrite the services provided to other municipalities," said Emanuel in the statement.
Emanuel said he sent a letter to the City of Harvey, Village of Maywood, Village of Dolton and Village of Robbins stating that he would work with them and develop fair and efficient payment plans.
Harvey, Maywood and Dolton owe Chicago more than $9 million in water bills, Emanuel said. Robbins owes $6.3 million. Department of Water Management commissioner Tom Powers met with the leaders in those suburbs to negotiate plans to ensure the debts were paid within 18 months of approval.
"My administration is committed to being responsible stewards of the taxpayers' money and we have moved quickly to develop strict payment plans that will recover the past due funds," said Emanuel.