Homer Glen need to be cautious in Water Company purchase

February 11, 1992|By Edmund S. Tijerina

Prodded by the Frankfort Square Homeowners Association, the Frankfort Square Park District-which covers virtually the same area as the association- will ask voters in March if they will agree to increase their taxes to cover the costs of their legal dispute.
The conflict between the homeowners and Frankfort began in August 1990 when the village bought a private water company that supplied water to the southeastern part of the village and the nearby unincorporated Frankfort Square subdivision.
To repay the bonds that were sold to buy the utility, the village slapped a surcharge that averaged $17 per month-about $200 a year-on the people who had been served by the private company.
Frankfort Square homeowners complained that they had no say in the matter.
“It`s an issue that our forefathers fought over and we`re fighting now,“ said Roe Abshire, a director of the association board. “No taxation without representation.“
Angry residents at first refused to pay the extra charge and then organized a brief boycott of Frankfort businesses before filing a lawsuit to overturn the surcharge.
But in November, despite the pancake breakfasts, raffles and other endeavors that raised $35,000, the association ran out of money to pay its mounting legal bills and was forced to drop the suit.
Then came the idea to finance the suit through taxes. If enough voters in the park district agree, everyone will be forced to fork over money to support the lawsuit, whether they really want to.
If the proposal is approved March 17, the park district would raise its tax rate from 10 cents to 25 cents per $100 of assessed value. On a house worth $100,000, an owner would would pay an extra $50, according to association officials.
That would raise an estimated $90,000.
Although the money wouldn`t start coming until spring of 1993, association representatives said they`re confident they could get the suit started again before a Nov. 6 deadline to refile.
Officially, the park district`s board hasn`t taken a stand on the issue, said park director Jim Randall. But he noted that the district is part of the suit against the village.
He predicted the board will pass a resolution at its next meeting specifying that it would use the money only for the lawsuit and then lower taxes after the suit ends.
A note sent to me about the issue included this article and this statement which in light of the Homer Glen $50,000,000 bond issue tonight August 28th seems relevant.
“They had to run it through the Square Park District, and the tax is gone (it is a high-taxing district though). There is a lot coming back, but once the village owned the sewer system, it was using the “customers’” money against them. Frankfort kept the two systems apart for a while, the typical politico-legal fiction (like Soviet Union saying the party and government were different, when they were the same people). Eventually, the village won when the outsiders caved; and the main part of that was money.”

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