Ypsilanti City Council approves 1st reading of proposed water, sewage rate increases
Ypsilanti residents are one step closer to paying more for their water and sewage services after the City Council voted 6-0 Tuesday night in favor of proposed rate increases.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Council will have a second reading at its Oct. 18 meeting.
The Ypsilanti Community Authority Board of Commissioners on Aug. 28 approved a recommendation to council for a rate increase of 5 percent and a sewer rate increase of 3 percent for the city's customers.
YCUA officials said the combined effect of these rate adjustments will result in a 4 percent increase in a city customer's bimonthly bill.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department increased its rate to the YCUA by 8.7 percent July 1 and this subsequently resulted in the proposed increase for residents. YCUA interim director Jeff Castro also cited an increase in costs of electricity, gas and chemicals as a reason for the increase in sewer rates.
However, the YCUA was able to limit the increase for residents through a number of cost-saving measures.
"The authority has managed its finances well over the past few years since the economic downturn (by) reducing expenses and staff," Castro said.
Council Member Mike Bodary said the YCUA's efforts to keep costs down have not gone unnoticed.
"I appreciate the board being able to modify the increase of the water rate and the sewage rate based on cost-cutting efforts it's done," Bodary said. "It's difficult when you’re locked into one supplier of water. We’re at the mercy of the Detroit Water Board."
If the city chooses to approve the two ordinances, all bills rendered prior to Nov. 25 will be charged using existing rates. All bills after will reflect the new changes.
Mayor Pro Tem Lois Richardson was absent.