The board said OK to the sewer rate hike without the lower water rate that was recommended by Township Manager Gordon Gallagher. The measure was unanimously approved Monday night.
Board members said it is a priority to keep enough funds in both the water and sewer coffers to fund unexpected repairs or necessary upgrades in the future. They said a water rate decrease could put the water fund in jeopardy down the road.
Township Trustee Rick Homan said he was not in favor of the recommended water rate drop.
“I think we would be shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said. “It’s such an incremental amount of money when you look at the water portion. I don’t think it would be as appreciated by the community as we move forward with what our needs would be for what’s underground.”
The 3 percent sewer increase is retroactive to Jan. 1. It will show up on customers' first-quarter bills that will be mailed out March 15.
As an example of how the price hike will affect an average customer, Township Clerk Carolyn Boersma’s sewer bill for last quarter was $125.23. Assuming similar usage, her bill would increase to $126.28 this quarter.
Water rates will increase by 7 cents per 1,000 gallons, from $2.20 to $2.27.
The township hasn’t increased both water and sewer usage rates since 2009, according to Boersma.
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