Ann Arbor Council OKs Water Rates

At its June 4, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor city council gave final approval to increased rates for drinking water, sanitary sewer and stormwater utilities. According to a staff memo, the impact of the increases on an average single-family customer comes 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.

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. However, basic service charges for water and sewer service were implemented as part of the tiered system – which for  the smallest size 5/8-inch meter are currently $10.57 and  $11.25 per quarter, for  water and sewer, respectively.  The stormwater service charge is $6.77 per quarter. Those service charges did not increase this year.

[Link to Google chart illustrating the history of Ann Arbor water rates] [.jpg of chart showing history of Ann Arbor water rates] [.pdf of water, sewer 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]