Ypsilanti utility customers to see water and sewer rate hikes
Ypsilanti Community Utility Authority customers will likely see their water and sewer rates increase effective Oct. 1.
At its meeting Monday, the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 3 percent sewer rate hike, while the YCUA Board of Commissioners has approved a 4 percent water increase that doesn’t require approval from the municipalities it serves.
The average customer will see a cumulative 4.1 percent increase in his or her bi-monthly water and sewer bills. That translates into an additional $3.69 per bill for an average user and $1.82 per bill for a minimum user.
An average user in Ypsilanti Township now pays $48.18 in water and $41.49 in sewer on a bi-monthly basis. A minimum user pays $23.82 in water and $21.12 in sewer on a bi-monthly basis.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Under the new rates, an average user in Ypsilanti Township would pay $50.63 for water and 42.74 for their sewer.
Users also pay a 5 percent surcharge for capital costs.
The changes come as the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department passed on cost increases of 8.7 percent to its customers for infrastructure upgrades.
YCUA interim director Jeff Castro said the YCUA was able to keep the increase passed on to its customers lower because of reductions in operational costs. He said some positions left open by retirement weren’t filled and some changes were made to the YCUA’s wage structure.
The YCUA’s water consumption is also down significantly compared to five years ago due to the loss of the area’s industrial base. Castro said the extremely hot and dry weather contributed to higher water usage this summer.
“The water consumption has stabilized, however we do expect to see a little bit of decrease next year,” he said.
Two years ago DWSD passed on a cost increase of 19 percent, and last year’s increase was 9.2 percent. A 3.5 percent increase in the sewer rate last year was the first since 2008.
Castro said DWSD is undergoing an organizational restructuring and he is expecting the cost increases will be much lower in coming years.
The YCUA also serves customers in Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township, York Township, Augusta Township and Pittsfield Township.
According to Michigan Department of Natural Resources statistics from fiscal year 2010, YCUA customers enjoyed the lowest water and sewer rates in Washtenaw County.