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detwaa84

City Council Rejects Water Rate Increases

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/wdiv/20070222/lo_wdiv/11062526

I know this is kinda old news, but wasn't this issue resolved last year when the city council approved rate hikes for the suburbs and then a few days later for the city. Why are we going through this again. It was a school assignment that I go to a city council meeting, and I was there when they made this decision. From my understanding, it was passed.

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Why is the city's so much more expensive? I've heard the reason before but I forgot.

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Why is the city's so much more expensive? I've heard the reason before but I forgot.

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I think, it's because so many unpaid bills are from city residents. That's only my guess, because that's one of the reasons why they're increasing the rates after all.

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so this issue was a "one apple spoils the bunch" situation is what you're saying?

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It's not just a few 'bad apples.' There are so many people unable to pay a full bill in the city. I wouldn't be surprised to see a drastically high amount of Detroiters on special payment plans just to catch their water bills up.

The water board issue is indicative of a much larger problem that's been going on for 50 years, now, and that's a shrinking city. What's happening is that you have less and less people, and increasingly poorer people paying for expensive infastructre built for a much larger and wealthier city. The water board, if it wants to stay solvent, has no choice whatsoever but to raise rates to keep up with the shrinking and increasingly poor populace.

If you believe SEMCOG or the Census, Detroit is losing a little over 1,000 people per month, and that has HUGE implicatons for everything from the water system to garbage pickup to police patrols to school closings...etc.

That's why it is so incredibly important that all revitalization efforts be aimed at population retention, and building back up the city economy. Lofts and such are nice in the central city, but the meat and potatos of this has to be in reclaiming the neighborhoods if we don't want to see the city completely collapse.

I don't think many fully realize how bad a situation Detroit, as a comprehensive city, is in.

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Good statement, LMich. I hope JoAnn Watson reads it, because in an article she stated that not only should we not increase rates for residents, we should be reducing them. I like the council member personally, but sometimes she really needs to stop and think, then talk, or act on an issue.

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Aiy, I just don't like her... :dontknow:

I don't think many fully realize how bad a situation Detroit, as a comprehensive city, is in.

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Why not lower the city rate and raise the non-city rate to be the same level? The suburbs can afford it, and most people will pay on time, and since it's more stable, the city will get the money. Then the city would be lowered, which will make it easier on the citizens, and maybe it will encourage more people to pay. And no one can say that any of it is unfair because it's making them level. They'd just need to do the proper advertising on tv about it so that the population doesn't take it as a city vs. suburb thing. I don't know why the prices were ever different in the first place.

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Well, I'm not exactly sure what the city pays into the system vs. the suburbs, so, it's a possibility that the suburbs are already paying a great percent than their population. But, I don't know.

With that said, though, despite having some of the cheapest water rates for any major metro in this country, most suburbanites believe that they are heavily overpriced. I suspect that's just a cover, whether many of them know it or not, for not wanting to pay anything to the city.

All that said, DWSD (Detroit Water and Sewage Department) also has much responsibility in this. For instance, they use a complicated formula to form their rates (or so they say), and it's not uniform for all municipalities, so they (the different municipalities) have no way of knowing why the rates get raised the way they do in particular municipalities. Some individual municipalities have faced rate hikes, in the past, of up to 50-60%, even if still results in ridiculously cheap rates.

Still, DWSD is the only real leverage the city has in the region, and I'm not sure if I can blame them (at least not much) when they use it, especially considering the perpetual middle finger most of the suburbs give to the city when the city wants to do anything regional.

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