Northville Township Residents To Pay More for Water in 2013
The Northville Township Board of Trustees says rates need to be raised to avoid going into a negative fund balance.
Northville Township residents can expect to see their water and sewer rates increase by 5 percent in 2013.
The water rate will increase from $4.94 per 1,000 gallons to $5.19 per 1,000 gallons, while the sewer rate will increase from $4.59 per 1,000 gallons to $4.82 per 1,000 gallons.
The new rates will go into effect on Jan. 11 and were approved by the Northville Township Board of Trustees on Thursday night.
The new rates are based on a 20-year forecast done by the township, which estimates future water usage and rates using a variety of factors.
Northville Township Director of Public Services Thomas Cesari said the rate increase is necessary to prevent the fund balance from getting too low or even negative.
"Right now with this proposed 5 percent increase, the lowest the fund balance gets is to a million and a half dollars in about 9 or 10 years," Cesari said.
Cesari also said that the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) needs to increase its water and sewage revenue by 4 percent, which will effect the township. He said they won't know how much it will effect the township until next month, but they need to be proactive.
Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix said the township has a responsibility to retain its fund reserves.
"None of us up here want to raise rates on anything...but we also have a fiduciary duty, I think, to do the right thing and make sure we maintain the township in the best financial position so that we don't make a misstep that has a really negative impact on our bond rating," Nix said.
The township also approved an amendment to its contract with DWSD on Thursday night. The amendment reflects a decrease in the township's maximum use of gallons per day and a decrease in the amount of water used during peak hours.
Cesari said nighttime lawn watering and the new water tower helped reduce the township's usage. He said the changes made in the amendment could help curb rate increases or make decreases possible in the future.
"Maybe next December we won't have to have a 5 percent rate increase. Hopefully it would be something less than that," he said.
The township also increased its consumption fees by 5 percent for both water and sewage last year.