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Record #: R2021-1304   
Type: Resolution Status: Recommended for Re-referral
Intro date: 11/17/2021 Current Controlling Legislative Body: Committee on Health and Human Relations
Final action:
Title: Call for investment of American Rescue Act funds to install water meters and repair water leaks prioritizing low-income/underserved communities
Sponsors: Sigcho-Lopez, Byron, Taylor, Jeanette B. , Napolitano, Anthony V., Coleman, Stephanie D. , Rodriguez, Michael D., Martin, Matthew J. , Reboyras, Ariel, Mitts, Emma, Ramirez-Rosa, Carlos, Cardona, Jr., Felix , Moore, David H., Hadden, Maria E. , O'Shea, Matthew J., Tunney, Thomas, Vasquez, Jr., Andre, Taliaferro, Chris, King, Sophia D., Gardiner, James M. , Sawyer, Roderick T., Sposato, Nicholas, Smith, Michele, Maldonado, Roberto, Curtis, Derrick G., Rodriguez Sanchez, Rossana , Lopez, Raymond A., Burnett, Jr., Walter, Tabares, Silvana, La Spata, Daniel
Topic: CITY COUNCIL - Miscellaneous, - CITY DEPARTMENTS/AGENCIES - Law, - CITY DEPARTMENTS/AGENCIES - Mayor, Office of the, - CITY DEPARTMENTS/AGENCIES - Water Management, - COMMITTEE/PUBLIC HEARINGS - Committee on Health and Human Relations
Attachments: 1. R2021-1304.pdf

WHEREAS, The City of Chicago ("the City") has not fully installed water meters city-wide to calculate water bills based on consumption, and instead calculates bills based on property size measured in square feet; and

WHEREAS, this has created grossly high water bills for small businesses and non-profit organizations that are charged based on the size of their property and not their consumption; and

WHEREAS, low-income/underserved communities suffer disproportionately financially as utility bills represent a larger amount of their income than for mid to upper income owners and renters; and

WHEREAS, the American Rescue Act allows for funding to subsidize the installation of water meters; and

WHEREAS, the American Rescue Act funded subsidies should prioritize preference for neighborhoods with high water bills and older infrastructure so that every property in Chicago is able to be billed based on consumption; and

WHEREAS, in the event of a water leak, the property owner is responsible for fixing the leak if the City deems that the leak is not on City property, which is dependent on where the City installed the property's water meter; and

WHEREAS, the property is responsible for increased water bills if they are not able to pay to fix the leaks; and

WHEREAS, these water bills can add up to tens of thousands of dollars for the property owner and tenants with inability to pay causing the bills to go into collections, possibly resulting in liens and other threats to property owners' and tenants' overall economic security; and

WHEREAS, the City further creates a public safety threat via erosion and other damage to public infrastructure by allowing water leaks to go unfixed, thereby profiting off ofthe increased fees and deferred maintenance; and

WHEREAS, the loss of clean water access is a public health emergency for any Chicago business or resident; and

WHEREAS, members ofthe Chicago City Council and the Department of Water Management have previously ...

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