At its May 21, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council gave initial approval to increased rates for drinking water, sanitary sewer and stormwater. According to the staff memo, the impact of the increases on an average single family customer come to 3.21% across three different rate increases – assuming the same level of consumption as last year. That 3.21% increase works out to $19.40 per year.
Because the water and sewer rates are part of a city ordinance, the council will need to vote a second and final time on the rates, after a public hearing.
By way of illustration of the rates, the drinking water rate for the vast majority of residential customers is tiered, based on usage. For the first 7 “units” of water, the charge is proposed to increase from $1.27 to $1.31. For the next 21 units, the charge is proposed to increase from $2.64 to $2.74 per unit. And for the 17 units after that, the increase is proposed to be from $4.50 to $4.69. For additional amounts more than 45 units, the charge is proposed to increase from $6.50 to $6.78 per unit.
One hundred cubic feet is 748 gallons. So a rate of $1.31 per unit translates to significantly less than a penny a gallon – $0.00175.
Ann Arbor’s tiered rate system was implemented in 2004. Before that, the rate for all usage levels was the same. In 2003, that was $1.97 per unit. In 2004, the lowest tier was dropped to $0.97. This year’s rate for the lowest tier is still less than what the general rate was in 2003. [Link to Google Chart illustrating the history of Ann Arbor water rates] [.jpg of chart showing history of Ann Arbor water rates]
This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]