Water Rates Set To Increase Again, Surprising No One

by CYNTHIA KMETT

No surprise these days when a rate hike happens. Check your health insurance or cable bill to see if that’s a true statement. So, you shouldn’t be surprised that last week, Troy City Council approved new water and sewer rates if there’s any good news. Troy’s rates are much, much lower than many other cities, because Troy has always taken excellent care of our sewer system.

And we can’t blame these increases on city government. The rate adjustments are a result of increased prices charged to the city for wholesale water and sanitary sewer disposal services charged by the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) and the Oakland County Water Resource Commission (OCWRC), respectively.

These adjustments will provide sufficient funds to operate, maintain and make improvements to our Systems, reported Troy Finance Director Thomas Darling, DPW Director Kurt Bovensiep and Sewer and Water Operations Manager Paul Trosper. The water and sewer rates are reviewed annually and adjusted when required. The last water and sanitary sewer rate adjustments were on July 1, 2018. These new rates will apply when you’re sprinkling the lawn or filling your swimming pool in July.

And, remember you can’t run your sprinkling system during the day. The city gets a better rate for water we use in the late, late hours.

This year’s rate was $39.30 for water and will be $40.50 in the new budget year, a $1.20 raise. Sewer rates go from $27.49 to $28.20, an 80 cent raise.

Charges for water service to each premises within the City connected with the water supply system, for each quarterly (3- month) period, shall be $40.50 per 1,000 cubic feet. Minimum quarterly bills will be $32.80.

Charges for sewage disposal, operation, and maintenance service shall be levied upon all premises having any sewer connection with the public sewers.

Those premises using metered water will pay $28.20 per 1,000 cubic feet of water consumption for sewage disposal and maintenance charges.

It’s anticipated that you can expect your quarterly water and sewer bill to increase about $7.80.

Council adopted four budgets last week. First was the city’s annual 2019/20 and three-year budget. If you expected this would be a unanimous vote, you are wrong. Mayor Dane Slater voted no. It was actually the principal of the thing when it came to not having much money being set aside for trails and pathway projects. He had argued that $750,000 should be saved in each of the coming three years during the budget study sessions, but he couldn’t get support for the measure, perhaps because there’s no real plan for where such trails might go. He also has concerns about library funding when the current funding ends in the third year of the budget. This will probably be a hot topic in a year or so, as many feel that the Troy Library should have standalone funding as it does in many other cities.

The general fund is anticipated to take in $65,859,929, with the tax rate of 6.50 mills for this fund. There’s also a refuge millage of 1.09 mills and a tax for the library fund of 0.6841 and the general debt service fund of 0.40. Other taxes include the school taxes, intermediate school district, and SMART. So Troy is only collecting those taxes and passing them on to other government agencies.

Council also adopted budgets for Adoption of the Troy Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) Proposed Fiscal Year 2019/20 Budget and Three- Year Budget, and the Joint Local Development Finance Authority Troy Subcommittee

Proposed Fiscal Year 2019/20 Budget and Three-Year Budget, as well as the Troy Downtown Development Authority’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2019/20 Budget and Three-Year Budget.