DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s going to cost you more to get a drink of water and wash your clothes.
The Great Lakes Water Authority Wednesday approved a 4.3 percent increase for residents in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.READ MORE: MGM, Greektown, And Motor City Report Strong Profits Amid Pandemic
Authority member Brian Baker of Macomb voted against the rate hike saying there are unaccounted revenues that could offset the rate hike including the money the authority has been getting from water sales in Flint.
“Michigan has been paying the Great Lakes Water Authority for the Flint costs – $10 million this year and we estimate an additional $4 million for half of next fiscal year — that $14 million dollars has already been charged to the rate payers – and that is money – that should be set aside – in my view to offset the rate increase,” said Baker.
CEO Sue McCormick talked about the reason for the increase now.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic At WCCCD Extends Walk-In Hours
“We know we will lose a major customer in the second year of this process and we want to be very careful not to have a significant negative impact on our customers in that second year – so – given all the unknowns; new entity; new start-up, lots of things we will discover in the process – all of the unknowns, we certainly don’t want to put the organization in financial jeopardy,” said McCormick.
She says that Genesee County is slated to leave in the next 18 months accounting for roughly $18 million less in their budget – which is about 6 percent of GLWA’s water revenue.
GLWA is still grappling with the $25 million water bill owed from the city of Highland Park. GLWA’s Baker says that people in the suburbs are picking up the tabs through increased costs.MORE NEWS: Missed Gov. Whitmer's Press Conference? Here's Her Update On The State's Response To COVID-19
Expect that bills will go up more than 4.3-percent because many cities and townships add their own increases for local operations.