Controversy continues over potential water rate increase in Bay - WNEM TV 5

Controversy continues over potential water rate increase in Bay City

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A controversy is brewing in one Mid-Michigan county.

It’s all over an increase in water rates and who is responsible.

Earlier this month, the Bay City Commission approved a rate hike for water saying the city can no longer absorb a cost increase levied down by the county. County officials are crying foul.

The city wants to raise water rates by 68 cents per unit. That would be a little less than $5 a month for the average household.

City Manager Dana Muscott said the reason the water bill is increasing is because the county is charging the city an extra 68 cents per unit.

On Tuesday, June 12, the county fired back saying Bay City – along with 13 other Bay County communities who use the water plant – all voted for the fee increase.

Bill Bohlen oversees the county department of water and sewer. He said the decision to increase rates was made by those 14 individual communities, not the county.

“In last year’s budget process, we received no claims of dispute over the rate process during that,” Bohlen said.

He said because of that agreement, Bay City is actually getting some money back.

“In addition, there’s another 10 cents which is a cost sharing agreement to reimburse back to Bay City that 13 of the 14 ratepayers pay,” Bohlen said.

Still, the city is moving forward with the proposed water increase. The final vote is scheduled for this month.

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