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Posted on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti utility customers may see water, sewage rate increases in 2014

By Katrease Stafford

Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority customers could have slightly higher water and sewage bills next year after the Detroit Water and Sewage Department proposed increases for most of its customers Thursday.

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YCUA Director Jeff Castro

Rodney Johnson, Assistant Director of Commercial Operations and and Public Affairs for the Detroit Water and Sewage Department said the board has proposed a 6.2 percent water rate increase for the YCUA.

On average, the sewer rates may increase 3.7 percent for suburban communities.

Johnson said a "host of factors" go into how the department figures out the increases for each municipality it provides water to such as the distance from the water plants to the city and the amount of volumes cities contract for.

The increase will go toward maintaining the systems and any upgrades, capital improvements and paying previous debt, Johnson said.

"Any of those things are tied into our rate," Johnson said. "This year would have been our lowest rate increase in the last decade and we're kind of happy about it."

YCUA interim director Jeff Castro said the department has yet to receive a specific rate increase amount from Detroit, but he is expecting to receive some information as early as next week.

If the rate increases are approved, Johnson said the new rates will go into effect July 1.

Johnson said the YCUA likely would see the increase on its August bill. Customers wouldn't see an increase until 2014.

Castro said during that time, the department will evaluate its budget to see what it can do to in terms of "absorbing" some of the costs. The Detroit Water and Sewage Department increased its rate to the YCUA by 8.7 percent in 2012.

However, YCUA was able to absorb some of the costs through expense reductions and other cost-saving measures so its customers didn't pay for the full increase.

"YCUA always does its diligence to try to absorb the cost and we're going to try to do the best we can, but all communities are expecting a rate increase, as we do every year," Castro said. "We would have no choice, but to pass some of this onto our customers."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Recently moved from AnnArbor to Ypsilanti Twp, rates are lower here. Matter of fact they are less than many of the neighboring communities. However, Detroit is out of control and nothing is to stop them, they will always increase rates as much as they want. Detroit has made that quite clear, all of us must voice against Detroit not Ycua.

Basic Bob

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

Not to mention the water is better in Ypsilanti, even after going through 35 miles of pipe.

Rob MI

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

It is my understanding that City of Ann Arbor union AFSCME employees haven't received a raise in several years now, based on their current contract. Quit generalizing.

ypsi 1

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

Don't blame YCUA, blame the Detroit Water and Sewage Department. DWSD has a large debt, rising water prices and inefficient services — using almost twice the number of employees per gallon as other cities like Chicago. Example: Despite having no horses, the water and sewerage department for the city of Detroit employs a horseshoer. (Mackinac Center for Public Policy) Detroit City Council refuses to overhaul them.


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

I heard Pittsfield Townhip pays the highest in water rates. Ann Arbor has its own water system. Interesting how we don't share theirs instead of Detroits.

Basic Bob

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

You would think with DWSD hiring a director of security and integrity that the level of corruption might fall. Instead it seems to have gone up, just like the rates. Just curious, did the water they take out of the Detroit River start costing more?

dading dont delete me bro

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

are the increases to cover all the nonpaying customers...?

C. Montgomery Burns

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 3:20 p.m.

Rate increases for utility customers? Excellent.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

The trustees must approve the increase ? From what I hear when one hand goes up they all do?

Katrease Stafford

Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Just wanted to throw a bit more information out there: Although the increases will go into effect for YCUA on July 1 of this year, the Ypsilanti City Council and Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees must first approve any proposed increase for residents.


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

Brenda Stumbo won't if the people don't want it to happen. So with that said? We need to call and voice our concerns. Otherwise it will go up.


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 3:44 a.m.

They will.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

They have not done a thing to improve fire hydrants and yet our bill goes up? Again? YUCA? Yuck to you and your increases. Take care of your problems and then hike us. Otherwise, I may just build a well and a septic system and get rid you all.


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

One should probably research before posting incorrect statements. Ycua just replaced my entire neighborhood water pipes and hydrants near Ecorse Rd. We are so very thankful, when I had an issue in my front yard during this construction in October I called ycua and actually was able to talk to someone not an answering machine. Issue was immediatley resolved. Exellent service.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2 p.m.

While everyone has to increase sometimes, this yearly affair is what happens when you partner with Detroit. Let's do it with mass transit too!


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

I'm happy that Saline, and good thing Ann Arbor, went independent.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Yes! The squeeze is on. For most of us, our wages are stagnant - unless you are a government employee - local, state or federal. Costs are rising. Utilities going up. The price of food is going up. The cost of health care is going up, contrary to what we were told around election time. When does it end? Go figure!


Sun, Jan 27, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Obama lifted the pay freeze.


Sat, Jan 26, 2013 : 9:41 p.m.

Federal workers have had a pay freeze in effect since Jan 2011.