City of Detroit announces proposed water and sewerage rates

The Detroit City Council will conduct a public hearing on the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's proposed water and sewage rates for Fiscal Year 2001/02 at 10 a.m., February 8, in the 13th Floor Council Chambers (Auditorium) of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue, in Detroit.

DETROIT, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ — The Detroit City Council will conduct a public hearing on the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's proposed water and sewage rates for Fiscal Year 2001/02 at 10 a.m., February 8, in the 13th Floor Council Chambers (Auditorium) of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue, in Detroit.

The seven-member Board of Water Commissioners approved the service rates and charges at their meeting following the public rate hearing on January 24. The Department will seek Council's concurrence of the Board's action on February 21 during their formal session. New rates will go into effect July 1, 2001.

The average water rate increase for Detroiters will be 7.1 percent; suburban customers will face an 11.6 percent increase. Sewage rate increases are expected to be 13.7 percent in Detroit and 7.9 percent outside the city. (See Schedule A following press release)

In addition, Sewage Disposal System Look-Back adjustments, upon completion of audit activities, will be applied to adjust customer accounts accordingly during Fiscal Year 2001/2002.

The new service rates and charges will fund major operations and maintenance activities and capital improvement projects in the water supply and sewage disposal systems. These actions are necessary to renovate and replace aging infrastructure and meet more stringent federal and state standards. Water projects include the new Water Works Park plant under construction; the Springwells Plant rehabilitation; and a water main and meter replacement program.

Improvements on the sewage side include the Long-Term Combined Sewer Overflow program; the Wastewater Treatment Plant rehabilitation; a new Instrumentation and Control System; and a Lateral Sewer Replacement Program. Seventy-five percent of the Sewage Disposal System Capital Improvement Projects are mandated.

DWSD Interim Director Kathleen Leavey stated that capital improvements are essential to the operational efficiency of the utility and to providing customers with the highest quality water and sewerage services possible. �Utilities throughout the nation are dealing with the same thing we are — major needs for infrastructure replacement. It is a pivotal issue.�

Even with the approval of the proposed rates, Detroit's combined charges for water and sewage will be the fourth cheapest among 20 major cities nationally.

The Department supplies water to 4.3 million people in southeast Michigan and provides sewerage services to 3 million customers.

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