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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



Is it common practice to raise municipal water rates annually and tie the increase to the rate of inflation?

We offered to send ordinances that provide for the council to set water rates by resolution. While we have not compiled any information on factors affecting rate increases, we raised questions about the practice of automatic, annual increases tied to inflation. Generally, fees and rates have a relationship to costs involved and these costs could be tied to environmental mandates, increased costs of equipment, supplies, services, etc. This is a good opportunity to remind you to send us copies of any rate changes so our information is up-to-date. Also, please let us know the factors that move you to increase rates. Thanks.

Please provide ordinance language providing for multiple water meters – for instance, to separately measure water used for lawn sprinkling.

Hancock provides separate water meters for a supply of water that will not be discharged into the sanitary sewer system. This includes lawn and garden sprinkling, commercial bottling of beverages and flooding of ice rinks. Tecumseh permits separate water metering systems for residential lawn sprinkling only under certain conditions, including the residential property owner being responsible for installation costs.

Can unpaid utility bills be added to tax bills as a lien against the property?

1939 PA 178 (MCL 123.161-.167) provides for the authority for collection of water or sewage system rates, assessments, charges, or rentals and states that a lien for water or sewage system charges accrues to the property at the time the service is furnished by municipalities.

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