DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit City Council voted, Tuesday, to raise water rates for Detroit and its suburban customers.
Council President Charles Pugh expressed regret that he had to vote to raise rates, but added the city has to make the necessary capital improvements to be compliant with federal mandates.
“We know that there is an issue with being in short-term and long-term compliance, certainly on the sewage side, so we don’t want to stand in the way at all of any infrastructure upgrades that need to be done to make sure that we are in full federal and state compliance,” Pugh said.
Pugh said he knows that times are hard, but he said the Council can’t let emotions get in the way of making tough decisions.
“I don’t want to increase anybody’s bill — that’s the emotional side of me. But, the reality is, the thinking side and the side that knows what needs to be done in order to do these infrastructure upgrades that we need to maintain control as a city of the Water and Sewage Department, means that, unfortunately, we have to increase the rates,” he said.
The vote was 4 to 3 in favor of the increase.
The average increase in Detroit will be 9.3 percent and 9.8 for suburban customers. The rates go into effect this spring.