MANISTIQUE - Residents in Manistique can expect to see increases in water and sewer rates beginning July 1, as discussed during a recent Manistique City Council meeting.
According to Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich, residential base fees on sewer rates will increase by $2.82, while water rate base fees will increase by $3.14 beginning next month. This means a sewer rate base fee increase from the current residential rate of $16.56 to $19.38, while the current water base residential rate is $20.95, and will increase to $24.09.
The reason for the rate increase is because the Downtown Development Authority was impacted by a loss of tax revenue from Manistique Papers.
In the past, DDA has contributed $60,000 each year to sewer, which they are unable to pay in fiscal year 2013.
Aldrich said the increase in the sewer rate will make up for this loss.
"With the water, the city had asked the DDA to commit to two of our last payments on a bond project," said Aldrich. "With their loss of tax revenue from the paper mill, they were unable to commit to that approximate $110,000."
This amount is anticipated to be made up by the water rate increases as well. Aldrich said the rates take affect July 1 on July's bills to be sent out in August.
In other business, the board accepted the Central Upper Peninsula & Development Regional Commission's proposal to offer administrative services for a CDBG Downtown Infrastructure Grant (DIG) to cover work done in the downtown area.
In the past, Aldrich said the project would replace aged and deteriorated water and sanitary sewer mains on Cedar Street between Oak and Walnut streets in downtown Manistique, and include some additional road construction activities. The project costs between $400,000 and $450,000, and will begin next summer.
The grant requires the city to have a third-party administer the grant, which CUPPAD offered to perform administrative services in the amount of $7,000.
"We are currently using them on our ARRA/RD project and have used them with superior results on many past projects," explained Aldrich.
Aldrich previously said this is the final block in the downtown area with old utilities that need updating.
Water main replacement for the project would include connecting services, gas valve and fire hydrants, while the sewer main replacement would include connecting services and replacing deteriorating manholes. Street construction would involve removing and replacing of roadway along with necessary adjustments to storm sewer manholes.
Aldrich also said the current city-wide utility and infrastructure project has been going well, with Elk, South 5th, and South 2nd streets scheduled to begin pavement yesterday, while underground work and pipe replacement will continue on both sides of the city. However, there have been some issues with children around the construction areas.
"We are having trouble with kids being in the construction area," said Aldrich. "We are encouraging parents to keep their kids away because we just don't want any accidents."