At its March 18 meeting, the City Commission approved an increase in Fixed Readiness-to-Serve (RTS) rates and Variable Commodity Usage water rates. These increases will be in effect on the April water and sewer bill.
With aging water and sewer infrastructure, it’s important for the City to keep pace with the capital projects that are necessary for reliable system operations. Because a significant amount of EGR underground infrastructure will be nearing the end of its useful life over the next several years.
Fixed RTS rates are charged to all customers for operations and for maintenance, repair and replacement of the water and sewer infrastructure. The monthly rate will increase from $36 to $40 for residential and proportionally increase for non-residential.
Variable Commodity usage rates cover the cost of purchasing water and treating sewage, which is passed on from the City of Grand Rapids. Each year, Grand Rapids conducts a study that determines the rates it will charge for the upcoming calendar year. EGR was given these rates on Jan. 1, 2019 and conducted its own analytical research on the new rates. Due to this increase from Grand Rapids’ rates, the water and sewer fund would anticipate additional expenditures of $54,900 or a 3.7 percent increase in overall charges.
The Water and Sewer Fund is a separate fund that specifically finances water and sewer-related projects. In order to improve maximize resources and reduce interference, the City often performs water and sewer-related projects in advance or during road construction. The fund receives no property tax revenue and provides water and sewer services based on a user rate. The City’s main goals in setting the user rates are equitable cost-sharing among residents and to charge what is required to operate and maintain the system in safe, good working order.
For more information on the new water-sewer rates, please review the PowerPoint presented to the City Commission by Doug La Fave and Karen Mushong. Any questions can be directed to Public Works at 616.940.4817 or Finance at 616.949.2110.