Shelby Township DPW minimizes 2015 DWSD rate increase, reduces costs

The Shelby Township Department of Public Works’ true cost of water and sewer service continues to lessen the financial impact on residents and businesses as the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department increases its wholesale rates.

Following a 6 -1 vote at the Dec. 16 meeting, the Board of Trustees adopted rates of $3.603 per hundred cubic feet for water and $4.660 for sewer, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

“By the year 2015, we will be charging $3.603, not the old methodology rate of $5.320,” said Department of Public Works Director David Miller of the savings realized by his department’s true cost of water. “By 2016, we will be showing savings to our rate payers of a little over half a million dollars.”

Since the Board of Trustees adopted the true cost of service initiative in 2009 cost increases to residents and businesses have been minimized by improved efficiency and reduced costs within the Shelby Township DPW.

The DPW has decreased operating expenses for water by nearly 10 percent for a reduction of costs of approximately $300,000 from 2009 to 2015. In that same time, DWSD has increased water costs over 30 percent.

“We have no control over water costs because they are passed on to us,” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said. “But, the controllable costs that the DPW does have, they are controlling and those costs have been in decline since 2009.

“The increases are not as staggering as they could be based on the good stewardship of our Board and our Water and Sewer Department in protecting our reserves. “

Currently, there are no other water sources that can meet the township’s existing regular daily needs, as well as the peak hour max day demands. Miller stated that these, as well as the township’s annual volume of usage, are the primary drivers for rates.

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