Illinois American acquires Forest Homes water system
Illinois American Water has completed the acquisition of 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.
“After careful and thoughtful consideration of the current and future challenges operating the water utility, we found our customers would be best served by the sale to Illinois American Water,” President Bruce Hauk said.
On Nov. 3, 2016, residents of Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District voted in favor of dissolving the water district, and supported the water district selling the water system to Illinois American Water. The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the sale for $900,000 on June 7, 2017. On Friday, Illinois American Water acquired the water system.
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. Illinois American Water has been delivering reliable water service to customers in the Alton District for more than 135 years,” said Karen Cooper, senior manager of field operations and production. “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.”
Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District Board Chairperson Barb Howard is supportive of the acquisition. She said, “After careful and thoughtful consideration of the current and future challenges operating the water utility, we found our customers would be best served by the sale to Illinois American Water.”
New customers will soon receive an Illinois American Water welcome packet in the mail. This packet includes information about online account management, billing and more.
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 Hauk, this law gives communities an alternative to value their water and/or wastewater system when considering being acquired by an investor-owned water utility.
He said, “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. 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 the company’s Alton District, which serves residents in Alton, Godfrey, Grafton and Elsah.
Jersey County Rural Water, Fosterburg Water District and Brighton are sale-for-resale customers. Forest Homes-Maple Park Public Water District residents will become direct customers of Illinois American Water and receive their first bill in approximately 30 days. Customers may contact the company with service requests or questions at (800) 422-2782.