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County hikes sewer rates

May 21, 2014 - Atlas Twp.- On Monday night the board of trustees OK'd a sewer cost increase from $154 per quarter to $170. The township has about 75 residents on the system. The Village of Goodrich, with more than 500 residents on the system, will increase rates from $111.27 per quarter to $124.51. The rate hike was announced during the May 12 village council meeting.

The increase is a pass through from the Genesee County Water & Waste Services, who recently raised sewer rates for the first time since 2007. The new rates go into effect on July 2, 2014. The rate increase raises the County RTS from $3.414 to $4.67 flat rate to charge, the commodity rate from $1.658 to $1.82, and the flat rate from $24.14 to $27.43; this represents approximately a 13.5 percent increase in rates.

John O'Brien, Genesee County Drain Commission Water and Waste Services division director said rates are based upon cost analysis of the past five years and projections for the next five years.

"We set the rate through 2019," O'Brien said. "We have a fixed cost whether we have any flow or not. This year we've added a capital improvement fund. Basically, we'll make money for two years, break even in the third year and lose money in years four and five. It should balance out. We do not anticipate any population growth, but if there is some growth we can stabilize the funds longer."

O'Brien said that all dollars collected stay within the Genesee County Drain Commission Water and Waste Services.

"No fund balances go to Genesee County," he said. "With the exception of Flint and Flushing which have their own septic system—the money stays in the sewer fund."

In March 2010 the Goodrich Village Council voted 3-1 to notify village resident three months after their sewer bill was due rather than six months, as they have done in the past. If the bills go unpaid, the charge in addition to a small fine is then placed on their tax bill as a lien.

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