Wheaton to COD: Thanks but no thanks

  • A flap over jurisdiction of College of DuPage that initially started over signs led school officials to pursue plans to deannex from Glen Ellyn and approach Wheaton to see if there was any interest in providing water services. The city said no.

      A flap over jurisdiction of College of DuPage that initially started over signs led school officials to pursue plans to deannex from Glen Ellyn and approach Wheaton to see if there was any interest in providing water services. The city said no. Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/15/2011 4:28 PM

A push by College of DuPage to connect to Wheaton's water and sewer services was rebuffed by city officials who said the proposal wouldn't benefit the city.

Wheaton Mayor Mike Gresk confirmed that COD President Bob Breuder recently called him to explore the possibility as the school continues its efforts to deannex from Glen Ellyn. Gresk said he doubts anything will come of the discussions between the school and Wheaton.

 

"I don't see that happening," Gresk said. "If there were a formal proposal, I'm sure we would consider it. But I don't see this progressing further."

On June 2, in an email obtained by the Daily Herald, Breuder told City Manager Don Rose the move could create for the city a "revenue stream of $188,391," based on the school's water use and the city's rates.

But Gresk said that money couldn't be used in the city's general fund and instead would have to be put back into the city's water and sewer services.

Breuder said the school would "even consider a modest premium for this service." But he also said in the email that the school is not interested in annexing into Wheaton.

Gresk said providing water service to properties outside the city's limits is usually a first step toward annexation.

The school's associate vice president for external relations, Joe Moore, said the inquiry in Wheaton was one of several options the school has looked into as it seeks to deannex from Glen Ellyn.

"We are exploring all options so this tax-funded institution pays no more than necessary for its services, such as water and sewer," he said.

College of DuPage has been embroiled in a dispute with Glen Ellyn about who has jurisdiction over the school. As the village has tried to enforce its codes, school officials have consistently said they do not answer to the village.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Recently, the village adopted a policy statement that said it would provide water services to the school if it deannexes but at a rate up to double what residents pay.

Moore said the school will try to move forward with deannexation as quickly as possible and he hopes the school has a better relationship with the village once it is deannexed.

"The tennis match is over," he said. "We voted last month to move forward. We believe the relationship is irretrievably broken and we will have a better relationship moving forward once we complete an amicable separation."

Moore would not comment on Wheaton's response because he said he had not officially heard it.

Wheaton City Councilman Tom Mouhelis said any agreement with College of DuPage would be bad for the city.

"Quite frankly, it'd be a bad marriage for Wheaton," he said. "I don't see any benefit."

"There is no upswing," he said. "Why would we provide services to them while they are having an argument with the municipality they are in?"