Illinois American Water has acquired the Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District. The purchase of the system adds approximately 500 customers to the company’s customer base in the Alton District.
In a public referendum on Nov. 3, 2016, residents of Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District voted in favor of dissolving the water district, and selling the water system to Illinois American Water. The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the sale for $900,000 on June 7, 2017.
Illinois American Water began its partnership with the Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District in the 1980s, providing water to the district on a sale-for-resale basis.
“We have a strong legacy and presence serving Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District and the surrounding area,” said Karen Cooper, Illinois American Water’s senior manager of field operations and production. “Illinois American Water has been delivering reliable water service to customers in the Alton District for more than 135 years. Through this acquisition, we will expand our existing footprint and help ensure local residents have access to a long-term, reliable water supply for years to come.”
The appraisal process used for the Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District was conducted under the supervision of the ICC and established as part of the Illinois Water Systems Viability Act. According to Bruce Hauk, Illinois American Water’s President, this law gives communities an alternative to value their water and/or wastewater system when considering being acquired by an investor-owned water utility.
“Previous law only allowed the investor-owned water or sewer utility to pay the original cost minus depreciation to acquire a small system, public or private,” Hauk said. “Because of this, systems were deprived of receiving adequate value for their system.”
The Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District will be incorporated into Illinois American Water’s Alton District, which serves residents in Alton, Godfrey, Grafton and Elsah. Residents will become direct customers of Illinois American Water and will soon receive a welcome packet in the mail. This packet includes information about online account management, billing and more.