- change ups
City water and sewer rates set to increase
Grand Rapids city commissioners raised customer rates for water and sewer service last week, but not by as much as initially proposed.
The two city departments requested increases in November that totaled $11.26 million. But since then, projected staffing levels and health insurance premiums for 2010 fell in both departments, which lowered the operating costs for both and reduced the total rate increase to the city’s 10 customer communities by $1.07 million to $10.19 million.
The city’s water department originally asked for an 11.8 percent rate hike of nearly $4.6 million, but ended up with a 9.9 percent increase of $3.8 million or $732,736 less.
The sewer department requested a 14.8 percent increase of nearly $6.67 million, but lowered that figure to $6.63 million for a 14 percent hike or $340,256 less.
The city’s water and sewer departments are enterprise funds and neither recives financial support from the general operating budget.
Water bills will rise by 9.7 percent for customers in the city of Grand Rapids and sewer charges will go up by 12.8 percent. Initially, water in Grand Rapids was to have risen by 11.6 percent and sewer by 13.5 percent.
Kentwood customers will get a 9.7 percent hike in water and a 17.8 percent increase for sewer. Customers in Walker will have their water go up by 10 percent and sewer rise by 17.8 percent.
The new rates go into effect Jan. 1.