Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Due to issues resulting from the impact of the coronavirus and Illinois’ stay-at-home order, Park Forest’s water billing is undergoing temporary changes. Park Forest usually utilizes meter readers who travel throughout the community to read meters to gather data for water billing. With those employees and many others currently sheltering in place, Park Forest is utilizing estimated water billing until circumstances allow normal operations to resume. The first bills reflecting estimated usage deliver to Park Forest homes and businesses this month.
The Village reported this on its website. Given the recent extension of the stay-at-home order through the end of May, it is likely that water bills for May will be estimated as well.
Park Forest Finance Director Mark Pries provided more insight on this temporary change.
“Typically, Park Forest water bills are based on actual usage,” Mr. Pries said. “However, since these are not typical times, estimated usage was used for April. To calculate your bill for April, the Village used total overall usage. We understand this method is not as accurate as an actual usage. It does, however, provide a reasonable estimate from which to bill usage.
“Please note,” Mr. Pries continued, “when the Village is able to get actual usage amounts, your account will be accurate at that point. If your estimated read was too high, the actual read will only charge you the smaller amount to bring your account to its accurate usage level. If your estimated read was too low, the actual read will charge you a larger amount to bring your account to its accurate usage level. This method the Village is using is very similar to ComEd’s and NICOR’s budget billing method.
“Please remember, at this time, the Village is not charging penalties for late or partial payments. It is also not turning off water during this time. The estimated read is a method to keep your account as current as possible so that when the time comes that water billing is back to normal, you will not be faced with a large water bill. When the Village’s water billing is back to normal, penalties and water turn-offs will resume,” Pries explained.
For questions, please call the Village’s water billing department at 708-748-1112. Though the staff is not currently working at Village Hall, voice messages are checked daily, and calls will be returned as soon as possible, the statement from the Village said.