Service Fees and Water Rate Increase

Earlier in the week I was asked to look into the water rate increase a link was put up to a story in the Press and Guide.

The new fees will be: Scheduled appointment no-shows $25; service shut off and turn ons $15. The cost goes up to $100 if it is an emergency, or after hours.

As a business owner myself we do many jobs in our store for little or no charge. Looks like this is what the City’s been doing for some time now.  I don’t think the fees listed above are outrages in any way. If you miss a doctor’s appointment many offices charge you a fee because of it. A no-show fee of $25 is in-line with what many others are doing. Service shut-off and turn-on $15 again in-line after hour and emergency $100 not sure who would have their water shut off or turned on after hours. If that is the case as taxpayers we would be paying for the over-time of that worker to come out and do it. Why should I pay for someone wanting to schedule after hours.

The cost of frozen, lost, or stolen meters must be paid by the owner, not the city.

“Paid by owner, not the City.” If the City all this time has not been charging the homeowner for this and the taxpayer has been flipping the bill that makes me mad. Why? As many of you know many homes over the last 5 years have been abandoned. Some of these homes have had pipes, lights, air-conditions and water meters taken out of them. If I’m willing to buy a house in that condition it’s up to me at my expenses to replace those things.  How a water meter gets “lost” is something I just don’t know…(frozen) well you the homeowner know your property if there is a risk of that happening there are things you can do to prevent that.

The increase is due to a variety of sources, including passed down charges from Wayne County and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Wayne County raised its combined rates to the city by about 5 percent, while Detroit raised rates about 10 percent.

To compensate for the increases, the city must charge an additional 7 percent to residents in hopes of making ends meet next year.

A few years ago when council had the chance to raise the rates they did not we should remember that. The City has to pay for the water coming to it and the sewage going from it. That is not set by the City this is an ongoing problem not just for our City and something that Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano is looking into. I’m not happy about the rate increase and yes it’s going to hurt many of us on a fixed income. . As a resident you might like to contact his office and see what plans he has in mind, or contact the water department in the City and ask who you can talk to in Wayne county and Detroit.

The money from the Water fund is used by the City when ever possible I’ve called it the “go to fund” for years. Anything they can charge to water they do. The Mayor borrowed money from this fund and it was paid back in full on time.The checking of the sewer lines, cleaning, and maintenance is all from the water fund. Imagine what kind of problems this City would have if that wasn’t being done? I’ve seen the reports from the company that does the work those reports are very detailed. You can imagine in this type of weather how many water main breaks there are. All those are fixed from the water fund. What should never happen is the water fund moneys get put into the general fund. We should be thankful those money’s are only spent on water related services. Could you imagine if this fund was rolled into the general fund? Nothing would ever get fixed.

Over the years I’ve questioned some of the charges paid out of that fund mainly “fuel cost.” I will say now that the City has done this I think these fees can stay as they are for years to come. What we need to watch out for is next year if they try to come and increase those fees for doing business. As to the rate increase again a rate that should be set for the next two years we should be watching closely next year to see if they want to increase the rate again. If they are taking it up at that time then as residents we should be calling, e-mailing, and going to council meetings to make sure they don’t. Sorry to say if we’re not willing to watch, pay attention and make ourselves heard then there is no one to blame except ourselves.

 

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4 thoughts on “Service Fees and Water Rate Increase”

  1. Kathy, Are they charging us per gallon or per cf? and how mush we pay per unit? May be buying waters per truck and store it in fiberglass tank and pumping for watering the grass and outside cleaning and washing cars will be cheaper? Private enterprises services very soon will be cheaper. The city contract the grass cutting, Cars repairs, Concrete repairs, Street repairs, Tree trimming, and more, the city DPW is a small department compared to what services the city public works amount to. Very soon contracting private companies to manage municipal business will be visible. No mayor, no clerk, no treasurer, no city employees, only council and council assistants that may be working 20 hours per week and paid market rate salaries. At least we avoid spending $11 millions over the revenues!

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  2. Ours have only been cleaned once and nothing is being done the vehicles that have been siting on the streets for 3 days, nothing is being done about any violations if its garbage rentals or illegal parking. What a shame that this is how our city has become but if we all stick together on these issues we can only get back to where we were a few years ago. One can only hope . I enjoy the blog as this is how you get to know other peoples thoughts and oppinions.

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  3. Cleaned when yesterday mine not yet its the weekend and I don’t think anything will get cleaned up before Monday.. Over the past storms we’ve gotten it’s been 2 to 3 days after when my street gets cleaned.

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  4. this is not anything to do with your comment about the water bill but I was wondering how many resident got their streets cleaned and were the vehicles that were parked in the streets stopping the streets from being cleaned ticketed by the police? Where are the police and the dpw to clean our streets?????? I guess it just depends which part of the city we live in.Cars are parked all over the place and this makes hard to drive .We have ordinances but they are not being upheld WHY????? and that with a lot of other problems in this city. How do we correct this problem? Residents call the police but no respond from them same with clean up.I hate to admit to this but our city does look bad in certain parts but nothing is inforced

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