Twp. Board amending water, sewer and telecommunications ordinances, increasing fees

FLINT TWP. — Effective Jan. 1, the shut-off and turn-on charges for water service will be $50 – a $25 increase. That is one of several fee changes approved by the township board last week.

Also coming is a $10 increase in building permit fees to help defer an increase in inspection fees, administrative and software fees, according to Tracey Tucker, building director. The inspection fee will increase to $40 to bring it more in line to what other municipalities are charging, she said. A $50 increase in commercial and residential Zoning Board of Appeals fees will cover increases in the cost of publishing notices. Similarly, a Special Land Use fee will increase $50 for residential and $150 for commercial applications to cover publishing costs. Noxious weed fees will increase to $60- a $5 increase to offset increases in inspection, administration and software fees and code enforcement fees for property maintenance will increase to $100 – a $45 increase. The board also held a first reading for amendments to the water and sewer ordinance. Both are due for second reading and adoption at the board’s December 19 meeting. Changes to the water service amendment affect payment dates and delinquency fees. Water billings are sent monthly or quarterly at the township board’s discretion. Delinquency for monthly billings has been changed to 15 days, at which time water will be shut off. The delinquency period for quarterly billings is 60 days. Shut off and turn on fees as stated above will apply.

For unpaid bills, a lien will be placed on the premises. The timeframe for enforcing liens will be extended to November 1 of each year. Similar delinquency periods, liens and shutoff fees will be made to the sewer ordinance.

Also coming up for second reading an adoption are amendments to the Telecommunications Ordinance. The changes will better regulate how telecommunication providers use existing poles in the public right-of-way in the township, said Clerk Kathy Funk.

Funk said that by tweaking its ordinance the township is setting a precedent in the states as one of the first municipalities to reign in controls on where “unsightly” utility poles are erected. In drafting the amendment, Funk said she worked with utility companies and their attorneys to stay in compliance with the Metro Act. The law was enacted in March 2002 to “stimulate the availability of affordable high-speed internet connections” by helping telecommunications providers cut through red tape to obtain permits without paying excessive fees or experiencing long delays.

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