LITH Seeks To Rid Self of Water Customers in Unincorporated Areas

The following email was sent to McHenry County Blog last week by Debbie Mahler:

“For years, residents of Flint Michigan knew something wasn’t right with their water, and officials hid the truth.

In LITH officials have openly admitted that the water system is dangerous for 40 years, and is now seeking to sell a tiny unincorporated area to avoid the costs of fixing it – costs they were fully aware of when they purchased the water system in 1975.

The longer version of what’s happening here… Around 1976 the Village of Lake in The Hills (LITH) purchased the LITH Water Company under threat of condemnation.

Meaning all the water lines were bad and the entire infrastructure needed upgrading.

Along with the homes in the incorporated LITH village limits, was included two unincorporated subdivisions of which I’m a resident.

Lake in the Hills Sanitary District truck.

Over the course of the next 40 years the village did nothing to upgrade our infrastructure and we still have the water pipes from the sale and pre-1976, 4 years ago, the village finished infrastructure upgrades for all of the incorporated residents but did nothing to upgrade ours.

40 years later.

But our water fees helped pay for the retirement of the LITH residents upgrades for which we never benefited.

Now the village wants to sell us off to a private water company that is made up of investors for $1.

They will upgrade us, buy the water back from LITH and we get to foot the bill.

The water company has a very bad reputation and we were not allowed any input into who would be buying us – and there are credible private water companies maintaining systems all over Illinois.

The board members claim they are saving their town residents the expense of our upgrades but if they would have included us at the time they were doing all the others, this wouldn’t be an issue.

But they neglected us again.

Yes, the current board inherited our problem.

But they have continued to ignore the fact that their predecessors knew when they bought the water company that it would come time to pay the piper. We are not taking this lying down.

Debbie Mahler, Resident”


While not directly related to McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks’ effort to merge the Lake in the Hills Sanitary District with the Village of LITH, it might be an early signal of how non-LITH residents might be treated differently than those who can vote to elect LITH Village Trustees.

Just as the City of Crystal Lake decided to raise sewer rates in my part of Lakewood so high that a cost-benefit study showed in the long-run it would be cheaper to reverse the flow to Lakewood’s sewage testament plant, there would be no guarantee that Crystal Lake and Huntley residents now served by the LITH Sanitary District would be treated the same as LITH residents should the LITH Village Board take control of the Sanitary District.


LITH Seeks To Rid Self of Water Customers in Unincorporated Areas — 2 Comments

  1. It sounds like these residents have a lawsuit and any money that the village may have saved by shirking their responsibilities to these residents will end up costing them plenty!

  2. The key quote from the NW Herald article was: ““It would be fundamentally unfair to village residents to foot a seven-digit bill for customers who are not within our municipality,” President Ruzanski said.”

    Non-LITH residents of the Lake in the Hills Sanitary District are now on notice that when the Village takes control of the Sanitary District, LITH will cut and run once any improvements are required in their neighborhoods. Clearly, LITH officials are only interested in serving their own municipality.

    By articulating this as an organizing principle, it is clear that the Village of LITH cannot be trusted to manage the assets and serve all the constituents of the Sanitary District.

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