Township lowers water and sewer rates

June 26, 2020

With charges coming in from water and sewage disposal suppliers to Bloomfield Township lower than anticipated for fiscal year 2021, Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved lowering the rates charged for both water and sewer to residents at their meeting on Monday, June 22.

Trustees had previously approved water and sewer rates for fiscal year 2020-2021, which began April 1, 2020, at their meeting on April 13, based on preliminary charges from the township's water supplier, Southeast Oakland County Water Authority (SOCWA). and sewage disposal supplier, the Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner's office (WRC). Since then, Olivia Olsztyn-Budry,  director of engineering and environmental services, reported, both entities have finalized their charges to Bloomfield Township, with slight decreases in their final charges.

New water rates will drop, from $5.86 per 1,000 gallons to $5.55 per 1,000 gallons, a 5.29 percent decrease. The sewer variable rate per 1,000 gallons from the previously approved rate of $9.56  declined to $9.26, a decrease of 3.17 percent. It is still an increase from last year, when it was $8.37 per 1,000 gallons.

Ready-to-serve charges, essentially the connection charges, remain the same, at $42.50 per quarter for water and $$43.50 per quarter for sewer. Sewer flat rate charge dropped to $323.98 from $334.66, a  3.19 percent decrease.

Water is supplied to SOCWA by Great Lakes Water Authority. Supervisor Leo Savoie said some anticipated costs from GLWA and WRC have been delayed, “and the other portion has to do with the COVID-19 situation we're dealing with, with the $15 million-plus update to the system. We still have a portion to do, but with unemployment and lower employment we thought this was the right thing to do.”

“GLWA decided to delay charge increases from July 1 to October 1, which led SOCWA to go to their board and request they delay their ready-to-serve charge and not increase their rate revenue until October 1,”  Olsztyn-Budry said. GLWA, SOCWA and WRC begin their fiscal years July 1.

At this time, the township has determined it would be best to remove capital projects and operations reserves from line items, Olsztyn-Budry said, zeroing out the lines for the fiscal year.

“Our rate tonight is based on calculations with staying the same for six months and increasing for six months,” she said.

“So you're not going to reinstate (capital reserves and operation reserves) until April 2021?” asked clerk Jan Roncelli. Olsztyn-Budry affirmed that.

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