IMLAY CITY — City residents are likely to see water and sewer rates increase 9% for two years (through 2020) and flatten out to yearly 4% increases through 2028.
The proposed increases are being recommended by the city's utility consultant, Stantec, who also suggest a 20% rate increase for Vlasic Foods, the city's largest water user.
The increases are the direct result of across-the-board 32% rate increases being passed along by the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).
City Manager Tom Youatt pointed out that the rate increases are taking place despite a 27% decrease in overall water usage in the city since 2015.
"These increases are inevitable," said Youatt. "It has to be done. There's no way to keep our water and sewer funds healthy without these increases."
He added that the city has not passed along a water/sewer increase since 2013.
Cost to residents
Youatt said the proposed rate increase will translate to an additional $3.20 per quarter for residents using up to 10,000 gallons of water during a three-month period.
The current minimum rate of $35.60 per quarter will rise to $38.80 per quarter, resulting in a monthly increase of slightly more than $1 for moderate users.
Youatt said he and DPW Supt. Ed Priehs plan to meet with Vlasic officials Thursday, Oct. 11 to discuss the proposed rate hikes.
He pointed out that Vlasic was able to reduce its annual water usage. However, the company far exceeded usage limits during maximum peak hours in June through August.
"The problem was more about when they used the water, than how much they used," said Youatt.
He indicated the increases will probably be voted on by city commissioners on Tuesday, Oct. 16; after Vlasic officials have been fully appraised of the situation.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.