DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Officials say the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is proposing the smallest rate increases in at least the past decade.

Department Director Sue McCormick told water commissioners Wednesday that city residents can expect to pay 4.4 percent more for water and 4.2 percent more for sewer service. In the suburbs, water rates would go up 3.9 percent, while sewer rates are to rise by 3.7 percent.

“This is great news, we haven’t been in this area on rate increases in the last 10 years,” McCormick told the Detroit Free Press.

Water and sewer rates have doubled over the past decade and have long been a point of contention between the city and the suburbs, where about three-quarters of the customers now live.

Last year, water rate increases averaged 8.5 percent.

McCormick says aggressive cost-cutting helped hold down the rate increases.

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