Brookfield Zoo Negotiating Water Rates

The zoo didn't know the water board offered them a deal already

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Thursday, Oct 14, 2010  |  Updated 8:05 AM CDT
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Brookfield Zoo is taking a two-pronged approach to reduce its water bills.

Zoo officials met with the Brookfield-North Riverside Water Commission to propose the agency sell the zoo water directly. They learned Brookfield officials offered them a cheaper deal that expired a couple months ago. However, it pounced on trying to see if that proposal remained a viable option, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Richard Ramello, an attorney for the village of Brookfield, said he needed to check the numbers before confirming if the offer remains on the table.

The expired 20 year contract allowed the zoo to buy water from the village at its cost as long as it paid an annual maintenance fee of $105,000. The agreement expired after a one year extension that ended in April.

The village offered a new deal that would charge the zoo 5% more for water with an annual maintenance fee of $125,000. However, silence from the zoo pushed its water rate from $2.94 per 1,000 gallons to $6.22 per 1,000 gallons like businesses and residents.

Village officials are against the idea of allowing the zoo to tap directly into its water lines.

"The loss of revenue will adversely affect the village's ability to operate its water system," Ramello said. "The loss of revenue could result in the laying off of public works employees within the village of Brookfield."

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