City Commission Discusses Rising Sewer Rates 10-25-2010 - WNEM TV 5

City Commission Discusses Rising Sewer Rates 10-25-2010

Sewer rates are draining the pockets of some local residents. A few months ago, rates jumped by more than 10 percent, and now Bay City commissioners are taking a second look at the move.
The commission will review the decision to raise sewer rates at a meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m.
TV5 found many Bay City residents who voiced their anger at high sewer bills. “I don't understand, [I’m] one person, there's no way I should be using $127- worth,” said Dawn Laymon. “And it's mainly sewer, it's not even the water, it's mainly sewer.”
It wasn’t hard to find others who felt the same way. “[I’m] one person and I had to pay $142 for a month,” said another woman.
“It's tripled, it's terrible,” said a man in front of Bay City’s City Hall. “I wonder what these people across the street are doing here.”
The rates went up 11 percent in July and people have been upset ever since. The city said the increase was necessary to pay for debt from repairs at the city's waste water treatment plant.
Still, the mayor says the increased rate is worth a second look.
“Our rates are high and they're going up,” said Bay City Mayor Charles Brunner. “Our costs are becoming even greater to run that department. That being said we have to do everything we can to find efficiencies to at least maintain or bring those costs down.”
“What can you do? You've got to pay it,” said Laymon.
The Bay City manager said it’s the city’s debt that’s driving the higher bills.
The commission’s options for bringing the bills down include increasing taxes, investing money, reducing staffing and possibly putting a millage on the ballot.
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