Waterford Township’s Department of Public Works (DPW) will be raising fees on miscellaneous water services, but water rates will remain unchanged.
The Board of Trustees approved the fee hike at its Monday, Feb. 28 meeting.
The last review and update of non-usage miscellaneous water fees was completed in 1990. Over the years, inflation and increases in material costs and labor have outpaced the current cost structure, resulting in annual operational deficits for the DPW.
Based on the DPW’s projections, the department is losing about $88,000 per year on these services. Increasing fee schedules is expected to mitigate the current deficit.
“It’s been 20 years since these fee schedules have been updated,” said DPW Director Terry Biederman. “We did a thorough review on what it’s costing us and now the increases will cover our costs.”
Average users won’t realize any increase.
“This applies to new customers connecting to water and doesn’t impact the average user,” Biederman said.
Water tap-in fees will be adjusted upward. It was reported that from January 2007 to August 2010, the annual average cost to perform a water tap-in was $1,107, compared to the current actual fee of $410 for a one-inch tap, the most common configuration.
Fees will also be raised on water turn on/off fees, which customers typically request when they leave town for extended periods of time. The current charge is $10 for this service; it will be upped to $30.
There will also be an increase in costs to purchase water meters, but the increase will vary according to meter size. The increase is necessary due to brass and metal parts costs rising significantly, while register heads integrated into the meters have been technologically enhanced.
Moreover, hydrant use fees will rise from a flat $100 rental fee to $150. The users are typically pool companies, contractors or events like Quake on the Lake, which use fire hydrants as a temporary water source.
Unmetered fire-line fees will also be restructured to offset DPW costs. This service applies to commercial and industrial businesses that will be charged a flat service fee for their fire service line based on service size.
Finally, there will now be a fee for abandoning old water lines. Previously this was a free service, but now a charge of $65 will be assessed to disconnect the water from the main and properly abandon the line.
The fee increases are effective immediately, Biederman said.