Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut off the free water to charities more than a year ago. It s been quite expensive for churches and other nonprofits. (Published Thursday, April 25, 2013)
Look for Cardinal Francis George to take on Mayor Rahm Emanuel soon.
The Chicago Archdiocese confirms George plans to ask the city to restore free water to non-profit organizations.
Emanuel cut off the free water to charities more than a year ago. It’s been quite expensive for churches and other nonprofits.
For example, Misericordia estimated its bill went from $0 to $350,000 in 2012. In fact, Sister Rosemary Connelly, the executive director of Misericordia criticized the mayor directly. Now, Cardinal George will ask the city next week to restore the free service.
Details as to how the Cardinal will launch his campaign are still forthcoming. Currently non-profits can ask for a partial exemption, however they are expected to pay 60 percent of their bill in 2013 and 80 percent in 2014.
In a statment, the mayor said he understands the viewpoints expressed by George and non-profit groups.
"This is not an issue only felt by churches and non-profits, however, as residents throughout Chicago are also feeling the burden of paying their fair share for water, and are meeting their obligations," he said. "We are working with aldermen, non-profit organizations and stakeholders to consider additional options while striving to ensure fairness throughout the city.”
New York allows for non-profits to be exempt from water and sewer charges, however free water ended in Washington, D.C. in 1996.
Published at 5:25 PM CST on Apr 24, 2013