Niles and Glenview appear to be resolving their water wars at a drip-by-drip pace.
In a ruling Tuesday, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita M. Novak signed an order which both villages agreed to.
The dispute centers on Glenview's assertion that Niles overcharged it for the water Niles delivered to 44,000 Glenview residents and businesses. As the dispute has continued on for more than a year, Glenview has socked away water payments in an escrow account, and Niles has not received the funds.
Under Tuesday's order, Niles will receive $2.08 million from the escrow account, to cover payments for water Niles delivered to Glenview.
Glenview will receive $1.07 million from the escrow account. This reflects a 19 percent discount Niles offered to 74 Niles residential water customers for 15 months between April 2010 and July 2011.
Niles is to charge Glenview its lowest water rates under the contract; it had previously said it had been charging Glenview the lowest rates, but in March, it acknowledged the discount given to Niles customers.
The dispute is not over yet, however. Niles said in a statement Wednesday, April 17, that Glenview's unpaid water bills continue to climb each month, and have reached $9.7 million.
Minus the $2.08 million paid to Niles and $1.07 million paid to Glenview today, that still leaves about $6.6 million which Niles says is owed to it.
"Niles is seeking the $6.6 million for water it has already delivered to Glenview," said Bill Plunkett, a spokesman for Niles. "Niles has a right to be paid what it's owed."
The next step is a status hearing on June 28 to see where the parties are in connection with the dispute.
"Glenview and Niles have agreed to hold discussions in an attempt to resolve the remaining issues in the lawsuit," the Village of Glenview stated in a press release. "Should a resolution not result, Glenview will continue to pursue its counterclaim."
In the Wednesday statement, Niles said its officials want to resolve the dispute, but until that happens, they will continue to pursue their lawsuit.
"(Judge Novak) made a ruling today but the case is not resolved yet," Plunkett said. "She's encouraging the parties to discuss the matter and come back June 28."
In the meantime, Niles will continue to provide water to the 44,000 Glenview customers, under the agreement, which continues through 2020. Niles purchases the water from the city of Chicago.