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Clarkston considers passing sewer service to township



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May 23, 2012 - Clarkston may give control of the city sewer system to Independence Township as a cost-saving measure.

"It's come to the point that we need to take a serious look at it," Mayor Joe Luginski said.

Along with the mayor, Independence Township DPW Director Linda Richardson, City Manager Dennis Ritter, and township Superintendent Bart Clark are among those who will explore the possibility of a sewer management switch in a meeting on May 30.

Currently, each household pays $97 for sewer each quarter, and the city typically pays around $170,000 to the township for all four quarters, Dennis Ritter said.

He believes giving the sewer over to the township may "improve efficiency in both operations" because the township already performs most of the maintenance on the sewer.

"All we do is collect the fee and forward it to the township," Ritter explained. "Little of the money we collect goes into our operations, (but) it does take up employees' time."

Giving the sewer over to the township isn't the only outsourcing the city is considering to balance their budget. They are also looking into having another community do assessing, Ritter said.

He's already called a couple of communities, but hasn't had any luck thus far.

To battle their projected 2013 $60,000 deficit, the council intends to waive their salaries, saving approximately $8,000, and $15,000 wil be cut from the planning commission's budget. Sidewalk repairs costing the city $3,689 last year will be trimmed too.

Ritter noted this sewer management swap is "one of many reviews" and is still "really preliminary."

For control of the sewer to change hands, both the City Council and the Independence Township Board must come to an agreement. The council will meet again on May 29 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

Clarkston News reporter
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