Four years after forming the North Oakland County Water Authority (NOCWA) to negotiate lower water rates with the city's water provider, the Rochester Hills City Council on Monday, November 12, approved a third amendment to the contract between NOCWA and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).
Rochester Hills Director of Public Services Allan Schneck said being in NOCWA will help to save member communities significant amounts on water commodities in the upcoming contract. Those communities include Rochester Hills, Pontiac, Auburn Hills and Orion Township. Together, he said the communities stand to save about $1.4 million over the next five-year contract due to peak hours and consumption data.
While the savings are significant, he said rates will be "marginalized." In other words, water customers will still see rate increases, but in the area of two to three percent, rather than eight percent, which is common in other communities.
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said inclusion in NOCWA has served the city well, but the savings won't equate to a rate decrease.
"This is saving residents money, but I don't want to give them the expectations that bills will go down," he said. "They are going to go up, but at a slower rate than our neighbors."
The contract agreement will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
It was approved 6-0 by council, with council president Mark Tisdel absent.