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Detroit Water Rates Expected To Rise 8.5 Percent

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Newly released figures say Detroit Water and Sewerage Department customers are expected to see rates jump an average of 8.5 percent this year.

Though water usage is down with a smaller population, fixed costs are on the rise — including repairs and infrastructure, operating and financing costs.

Although water rates have increased by at least 8 percent for the last four years, this is the first increase since suburban representatives joined the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners. Last February, a deal was reached to include one member each from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties on the board.

The department serves about 4 million customers in southeast Michigan. The rate changes are part of the department’s strategy to recoup more money through fixed costs rather than water sales.

A review of the new payment structure is planned for this week.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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