Tecumseh City Council approves increase in water, sewer utility rates
City residents will be paying slightly more for water/sewer services effective January 1 following Tecumseh City Council approval to raise rates at its Monday, Jan. 17 meeting. Water rates will go up 29 cents per 1,000 gallons of water, from the current $1.46 per 1,000 gallons, to $1.75 per 1,000 gallons. Wastewater rates will rise by 68 cents per 1,000 gallons, from the present $3.41 to $4.09 per 1,000 gallons.Rates also will be going up for sewer only customers, with single-family units increased from $48.33 per quarter to $54.19. Multi-family and commercial uses would be determined on a case-by-case basis. With bulk water sales, the commodity would be sold as a combined water plus sewer rate at a 100 percent surcharge. Council members discussed the potential need for raising rates at a study session on December 3, with Tecumseh City Manager Kevin Welch recommending the increase to help keep up with current expenses and a shortage of revenues the city has experienced recently. Rate increases also account for planning for future expenses and replacement of equipment, Welch noted, and added that even when costs haven’t gone up a lot but revenues are down, the city needs to address both situations at the same time. The last increase in water rates took place two years ago. “It should be noted that we’re still among the lowest rates of any municipality in Michigan,” said council member Laurence Van Alstine.Also at Monday night’s meeting, the council members adopted a resolution that will expand the boundaries of the LDFA (Local District Finance Authority) district, to include Van-Rob Tecumseh property (formerly Lenawee Stamping). A public hearing was held in October of 2012 that enabled the city to approve the amendment. The LDFA will now consider a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) plan that will capture a portion of the taxes paid by Van-Rob Tecumseh, which in turn will pay for an anticipated road improvement on M-50 associated with their expansion. The next step is for the LDFA to take action during its next meeting in the first quarter of 2013 and the measure would return to council one more time regarding the tax increment financing.In other business, council members:• Approved signed letters of agreement with the city’s two labor unions, the International Union of Operating Engineers and Police Officers Labor Council requiring employees to pay 12.33 percent of the city’s health care costs, effective January 1. The change will affect non-union employees as well.• Scheduled the city manager’s performance review in a closed session at the January 21 council meeting.