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Carol Stream, township near lake water pact
By Robert Sanchez | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/1/2009 5:23 PM

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Carol Stream is poised to overcome the biggest hurdle to its plan to sell Lake Michigan water to Benjamin Middle School and neighboring homeowners.

Village Manager Joe Breinig said Tuesday the municipality and Wayne Township are "very close" to finalizing an intergovernmental agreement that would give Carol Stream permission to extend its water main along North Avenue and up St. Charles and Fair Oaks roads.

If completed, the $2.8 million project would supply lake water to the unincorporated area near West Chicago where Benjamin is located. The school uses a private well but there are concerns about water quality and the lack of area fire hydrants.

Breinig said the village's attorney is in the process of reviewing the proposed intergovernmental agreement. As long as the wording in the document passes legal muster, village board members could vote on it as early as next week.

After a year of negotiation, Wayne Township Highway Commissioner Ken Spitz said he's hopeful the agreement can be approved and the village can start work.

"If they are satisfied with the way it is, I am willing to sign the agreement now," Spitz said. "I think we've worked out everything pretty much. Everybody gave a little and compromised."

As part of the proposal, work on the entire project could move forward. In the past, Spitz suggested the construction be done in separate stages.

Carol Stream initially planned the water main project in case any contaminated wells were found in the area. In 2006, homeowners along Judith Lane and Riviera Court were allowed to connect to the village's water system after vinyl chloride pollution was discovered in their private wells.

Benjamin District 25 officials say the water main is needed because the contamination found at Judith and Riviera, which is about a half-mile north of the school, is moving south.

Meanwhile, Janice Youngwith said she and other parents within the Benjamin school community are "cautiously optimistic" Carol Stream will get permission to start the work.

"It seems like everybody is very supportive," she said. "But we haven't seen a signed agreement yet. I truly don't understand it. I thought this would have been done a long time before now."