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Big Utility, Big Dollar Needs

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The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is a very large wastewater treatment and stormwater management agency. Its services are critical to protecting the health and safety of Chicago and 128 other communities. To this end, the District owns and operates seven water reclamation plants, 554 miles of intercepting sewers and force mains, 23 pumping stations, and 35 flood control reservoirs. The District's operating facilities are estimated to have a present day replacement cost of 29.7 billion. Many of these facilities were built over 50 years ago. The 2008 budget for the District is 1.4 billion, which includes a capital improvements program of 775 million. Award of capital improvement projects with a cost of approximately 1.8 billion is currently anticipated within the next five years.

Aging infrastructure, costly regulations, rising energy, healthcare and pension costs compete for limited funds, while tax cap limitations, decreased federal and state funding, and the economic downturn squeeze funds further.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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