September 20, 2019

City raises water and sewer rates


STANDISH — It’s a subject that’s been tossed around for the last couple months, but on Dec. 17 the Standish City Council passed a resolution officially raising water rates approximately 39 percent and sewer usage rates 50 percent to make up for an over $58,000 revenue shortfall directly related to the closing of Standish Max.

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, an increase of $2.40 will be charged for every 1,000 gallons of water used, raising the cost per thousand gallons from $6.70 to $9.10; the sewer rate per thousand gallons will increase $1.65, raising that cost from $3.30 per thousand gallon to $4.95.

The 75 cents sewer debt payment collected was lowered to five cents.

All rates will continue to be doubled for out-of-city customers who receive Standish’s water and sewer utilities, said City Manager Mike Moran.

Mayor Mark Winslow said the bonding agent for the water and sewer infrastructure costs, the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, informed him about a month and a half ago, in Lansing, that the city should’ve already raised the rates in the past to establish a bond debt reserve fund, which Winslow said doesn’t exist currently.

He said was in Lansing to testify on the city’s behalf for relief from the state when he heard the unpleasant news.

“We went there for one reason and were old something else,” Winslow said, adding that he hopes the rates are increased so high only temporarily. “Our goal, of course is to get them back down again.”


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It was also said that they could take over the water rates if the city didn't raise them. They could raise them to as high as they saw fit and for as long as they saw fit. Hopefully they get someone into the prison and get the water rates lowered soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009 | Report this

I guess I don't understand how water and sewer rates work. You pay based on the amount you use. Is this because higher amounts cost the city more money to provide, or are you paying to pay for the infrastructure? The prison isn't using water and sewage anymore. If charges are based on usage, and they are not using any, shouldn't the total shortfall be lower? If not having to provide service to the prison does not cost the city less, doesn't that mean that you don't really pay for usage, but rather to pay for and maintain the infrastructure of the system? I guess if using more wears out the pipes more, it would make sense, but, again, the prison is not using it anymore so that should be less wear and tear to the system. I feel like I'm missing something here.

Friday, December 18, 2009 | Report this

Money was borrowed to make improvements to the water and sewer system over the last 20years. The money was borrowed must be paid back with water and sewer money. The rates are so high because of paying back the bonds. When the prison closed that cut back 45% of the cities water income. The shortfall has to be made up in water and sewer money. So the city must raise rates to make the payments. If the city doesn't then the Feds who lent the city the money will take control and do it for the city. When they take control they will decide when the rates will go down as well. This way the city maintains control and can lower the rates as soon as possible like if someone decides to use the prison. I hopes this helps you understand better.

Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Report this

Having the MAX setting there empty is a visual reminder of the total failure of the leadership of the city, county and furthermore their weak position with the our elected Reps in Lansing and in DC. I truly believe that if the leadership at all levels could have come together on a plan to remake Standish MAX, then the utilities would be last thing we would be talking about right now. I would have been honored to have worked with some forward thinking people to better this city and county, but I don't see many around and I'm sad to say that our vote power in Lansing is a dim light in the sea of Neon lighting

Sunday, December 20, 2009 | Report this

ronbouldin you just showed your lack of political knowledge. The city has no control over what the state and the MDOC does. Next you will tell how you could have kept the prison open. What are you going to remake standish max into a motel? Get a grip and stop trying to use this as another forum to try and make yourself look good. If there was anything the city, county or the residents could have done don't you think they would have. The MDOC and state are going to do as they see fit and you of all people know that, or are you so nieve that you never saw that. How about you stop attacking local government and help.

Friday, January 8, 2010 | Report this

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