The Township Board recently approved the following rate hikes:
— The price of a water meter will increase from $495 to $515 for new customers.
— A seasonal water meter turnoff fee will jump from $45 to $60.
— The permit fee for a new sewer connection will go from $50 to $55.
“Existing customers will see no increases,” Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said.
A hot, dry summer may have helped stave off rate hikes. Water usage was up in 2012 from recent years, according to Gallagher, which brings more cash into water fund coffers.
“When the economy was poor in 2009, we saw a reduction in the usage of water and sewer,” Gallagher said. “Now that things are improving, we're seeing an increase in usage, but we don't know whether that trend is going to continue. It's something we're really going to keep an eye on.”
While residents are apparently safe from increases next year, Gallagher said time would tell if commodity rates would need to increase beyond that.
“I think it has a lot to do with what the overall Michigan and U.S. economy does,” he explained. “This past year was an interesting year. I think the economy was better and the weather was very dry. It will be interesting to see if this increased usage is a new trend or if it's because of the unusually dry season.”