Chatham Water Timeline​ as reported in the State Journal Register
(Published in 2010

Chatham becomes water customer of Springfield City Water Light & Power

Village begins to discuss building its own water plant. 

Chatham and Rochester appoint a water advisory team to study alternatives

Same two Villages form a water commission to study feasibility of a joint water plant. 

Commission dissolved after Rochester officials deemed the venture too costly. 
Chatham continues to explore the idea. 

Chatham Village Board votes to end the relationship with CWLP.

New Berlin, under orders from the Environmental Protection Agency to replace its aging water plant, joins Chatham in search for new water plant. 

January 2009
Villages form South Sangamon Water Commission.

February 2009
Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin proposes 50-year water deal to Chatham.

July 2009
CWLP offers two alternative water supply proposals.

September 2009
CWLP proposes draft contract that would have removed a boundary line provision in the Village's current contract.  

March 17, 2010
New Berlin Trustees commit to build new water plant. 
Chatham Board follows suit 

May 2011
Tentative start of construction

December 2011
Tentative completion date.

​The Dollars

*Chatham now pays Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power $2.577 per 100 cubic feet of water or $3.44 per 1,000 gallons. The annual cost to Chatham is about $1.1 million.

*The South Sangamon Water Commission is expected to charge Chatham and New Berlin an initial wholesale price of $4.65 to $4.80 per 1,000 gallons.

*CWLP unsuccessfully proposed to sell water to the villages at a price of $4.639 per 1,000 gallons starting in 2013 (when Chatham’s current CWLP contract expires)

​Staff writers Deana Poole and Tim Landis contributed to this report. 

CHATHAM – After 15 years of discussion, the Chatham Village Board Tuesday night voted to break ties with Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power and support construction of a new water plant near Rochester.

The $24 million plant will be operated by the South Sangamon Water Commission, a joint venture between Chatham and New Berlin, and will give Chatham greater control over its future, village officials said.

“I think it gives Chatham, finally, the independence to really shape a lot of how we want to grow in the future,” said Trustee Chuck Herr, chairman of the Chatham public works committee.

Village Manager Del McCord, Chatham’s representative on the commission, agreed.

“I think this was the biggest vote that any of these folks will make during their tenure on the board,” he said.

The board voted 5 to 1 to approve the agreement with the commission. Trustee Matt Mau voted “no.”

“I was there to do what I felt was best and to represent the people that I had talked to and the ones that had been against it, which was a majority of them,” Mau said after the meeting.

“I still have my concerns, but now that it’s over, I do wish it success. … If something does go wrong, it could have a harmful effect.”

Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin said he had anticipated Chatham’s move. He said he wishes the village the best and he suggested the two communities have similar goals.

“We took some heat on raising our rates to build that new water plant,” Davlin said. “But we’re controlling our own destiny, and if that’s what Chatham feels they need to do, I give them the benefit of the doubt. Time will tell.”

CWLP officials have said increased water usage by the new Dallman 4 power plant will offset the loss of just over $1 million in annual revenue from Chatham. The village’s contract with CWLP expires in 2013.

Though CWLP last week raised several questions about the commission’s ability to pay for the new plant with its projected wholesale rates, Herr said Chatham hopes to continue to have a good working relationship with the utility.

“Chatham and Springfield, at the working level between electric and water, have had some great mutual agreements over the years. We want to continue that,” Herr said. “Springfield thought we were doing the wrong thing, but we think we’re doing right, so we go from there.”

New Berlin’s board agreed to buy water from the commission last week. The Chatham vote was the last hurdle remaining before the commission could build the plant. Construction is expected to begin in May.

The commission — members of which are McCord, William Pfeffer of New Berlin and Sangamon County Board member Craig Hall – will meet at 8 a.m. today to start the process of ordering materials and securing financing.

​Village President Tom Gray said he’s been involved with seeking an alternative water supply for Chatham for 13 years.

“This board put a lot of time and effort, brought in a lot of experts and talked to a lot of people,” he said. “They didn’t rush into a decision by any stretch of the imagination,”

“They did their homework and they looked at all the options and felt like this was the best thing for Chatham today and into the future,” Gray said.

Staff writers Deana Poole and Tim Landis contributed to this report. Amanda Reavy can be reached at 788-1525.
Chatham board OKs new water plant
By Amanda Reavy      
Published March 24. 2010

Chatham Water Timeline as reported in the 
State Journal Register
State Journal Register Water Timeline
Village Voices