The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees approved the township’s water and sewer rates for the 2012-13 fiscal year at its Monday, June 18 meeting, with a total increase of 7.75 percent for water and sewer customers.
Effective on Sunday, July 1, the water rate will increase from $38.54 per 1,000 cubic feet of water used to $38.64, an increase of 0.26 percent.
The sewer rate will increase 7.49 percent from $26.82 per 1,000 cubic feet of water usage to $28.83.
The sewer only flat-rate fee, which applies mostly to residents with private wells, will increase from $104.59 per quarter to $112.45 per quarter.
Ed Haapala, director of the township’s Water and Sewer Department, stated in a letter to the township board that the overall 7.75 percent increase in wholesale water and sewer transmission and treatment rates imposed by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office is due to water loss in the 2011 fiscal year, along with a requested change for a temporary modification in the amount of water and sewer infrastructure depreciation.
The depreciation amounts are restricted funds in the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund for future capital improvement projects, as well as projects for infrastructure replacement, upgrades and debt service expenditures.
The depreciation amount is currently established at an annual amount of $2.55 million, according to Haapala, but that is to be reduced to $1.22 million for the upcoming fiscal year’s operating budget.
Haapala also pointed out that because of major system projects already completed and the current amount in the water and sewer reserve fund balance, about 129 percent in absorption of pass-through increases to township customers provided a unique window of opportunity for a substantial annual savings.