Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 24th, 2015

Giving Thanks


Gabriel will be closed on Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th as we give thanks for all of our many blessings.  Enjoy a wonderful weekend with your family, friends, and loved ones.  We’ll be back hard at work on your behalf on Monday, November 30th.

November 20th, 2015

2016 User Charge Rates Announced

MWRD has announced the 2016 User Charge rates for its Large Commercial-Industrial Users and Tax-Exempt Users. It is generally good news for these communities.  Due to the rate smoothing mechanism worked out between MWRD, industry representatives, Gabriel, and other consultants at the Blue Ribbon Panel, the 2016 rate changes are proportional to last year’s changes, with the exception of the OM&R factor which was not part of the rate smoothing agreement.  As with the 2015 rates, the 2016 rates for industrial users and tax-exempt users are the same.

Volume rates will increase, while BOD and SS rates will be reduced. The OM&R factor will decrease by 12% – however, the decreased OM&R factor is actually an increase in the amount a User owes to MWRD since it is a decrease in the tax credit going towards User Charge.

Volume = $255.02/MG (+1.8% change from 2015)

BOD = $234.95/Klbs (-2.3% change from 2015)

SS = $148.33/Klbs (-3.7% change from 2015)

OM&R factor = $0.344 (-12% change from 2015)

  • MG = million gallons
  • Klbs = thousand pounds
  • OM&R factor: Operations, Maintenance & Replacement Factor; tax credit applied to User Charge fees

We appreciate that MWRD has listened to the concerns of Gabriel and the User community to keep the User Charge rates steady, as well as decrease the burden of the User Charge fees in terms of the total MWRD budget. Overall, Users are responsible for a smaller percentage of MWRD’s Inflow & Infiltration (I&I) fees in 2015/16 than they had been prior to the Blue Ribbon Panel changes.

If you have any questions about how these rate changes will affect your total User Charge fees next year, contact Antonio Tabacchi or Brigid McHale at waterdept[at]gabenv.com or 773-486-2123.

November 11th, 2015

Mirror, mirror on the wall…


rebuilding exchange

Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange is offering a variety of workshops, including one this Saturday, November 14th, 2015 to build a mirror from reclaimed wood and mirrors at their exchange.

The Mirror Make It Take It workshop allows participants to choose a salvaged mirror and then build their own frame from pre-selected reclaimed wood to fit the mirror.

If your house already has enough mirrors, they are also offering workshops for coat racks, cutting boards, side tables, or holiday wreaths.  Tickets are limited and workshops do sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance.

A complete list of upcoming workshops can be found on the Rebuilding Exchange’s event website.

Rebuilding Exchange is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to create a market for reclaimed building materials. Since their inception in 2009, Rebuilding Exchange has diverted 9444.64 tons of building materials from the landfill, and has simultaneously created over $2 million worth of quality reuse materials available to the public.  Find out more at rebuildingexchange.org

November 4th, 2015

Contaminated site becomes new helicopter airport in Chicago

On the near west side of Chicago, an abandoned contaminated property has recently been cleaned up and put into progressive reuse as Vertiport Chicago, a helicopter airport.  Previous uses of the svertiport chicagoite included a garage (with two USTs), dry cleaner, and transportation company (with two USTs). The property had been vacant since at least 2005 and was overgrown with weeds.  Illegal dumping had occurred on the northeastern and eastern parts of the land.  Extensive subsurface investigation work found that the site was contaminated with lead, arsenic, and PNAs (Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons).

The airport developer worked with their environmental consultant and the Illinois EPA to determine a cost-effective solution to this contamination.  Instead of requiring the expensive removal of this contaminated soil, IEPA agreed to an industrial/commercial use restriction and a groundwater use restriction.  In addition, the property owner must maintain engineered barriers across the site including a concrete building foundation, a concrete parking lot, concrete vertiport, and alternative engineered barriers with new clean topsoil in the landscaped areas and the detention basin.

Vertiport Chicago has been operating since May 2015.  Its clients include emergency medical services helicopters for the nearby medical district who are able to land without landing fees, as well as more profitable clients such as DHL and corporate CEOs who ferry in documents and executive staff from O’Hare to downtown in a matter of minutes – no matter what the traffic is on the Kennedy Expressway.