Higher water bills on tap

FLINT TWP — Water bills are going up in October.

An average quarterly water rate increase of $13.30 for residential homes, based on an estimated 3,750 cubic feet of usage, was approved 5-2 by the Board of Trustees Monday night.

Commercial rate increases can not be estimated due to variations in meter size and water usage.

Water supplier Detroit has raised its rate to the Genesee County Drain Commission and that increase is being passed on to townships, board treasurer Sandra Wright explained.

Detroit is increasing its Commodity Charge (CC) to $0.26 per 100 cf of water use. The county’s flat rate, Readiness to Serve (RTS), rate is not being increased.

But the increase does include a $3.55 quarterly increase being imposed by the township to recoup half of its annual losses in RTS and CC costs. That breaks down to a $1.97 quarterly increase in the RTS rate and $1.58 more quarterly in the CC charge.

A review of the township’s water system finances shows an annual loss of $305,643. The added $3.55 township charge will recover $150,000, or approximately half of the total annual water shortfall. The change took into consideration maintenance of the township’s aging water system and inflation.

It was noted that without passing on to consumers Detroit’s CC increase and a portion of the township annual water cost deficits, the township would stand to lose an additional $300,000 for a combined annual loss of $605,000. That would render the water system insolvent in a year or less and adversely affect future bond ratings. Those projections are based on township usage of 111,949,654 cf of water in 2010.

Trustee Belenda Parker, who voted against the rate hike, said she objected to raising the township’s charges. Trustee Barb Vert also voted against it.

“I know we can’t get around the pass-thru from Detroit but my concern is the Flint Township increase,’’ Parker said. “I can’t justify telling a resident the township is charging an additional $3.55.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said that there were a couple of past water rate increases that were not passed on by previous boards resulting in the current $305,000 annual loss.

“If you want us to increase that loss, then you can vote no. I don’t want to operate at a loss and this (increase) will only recover half of that,’’ Miller said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *