Utility Improvement Changes: Final OK

The Ann Arbor city council has given final approval to changes in the way utility improvement charges are calculated, as a result of action taken on June 3. The initial approval was given on May 13, 2013 at a meeting that had started on May 6. The improvement charges will be calculated in a way that significantly reduces the rates for the next two years. That would give the city time to hire a consultant to give a more comprehensive review to the charges.

The charges are due when a single- or two-family property connects to water and sewer for the first time. The charges are paid by either the contractor/developer or the property owner, depending on who makes the request for a connection. [.pdf of connection charge comparison]

The action on improvement charges came after the council had debated proposed increases to the charges at its Jan. 22, 2013 meeting, and ultimately rejected the increase for this year.

The charges, which could be as high as $40,000, were seen as an obstacle to in-fill development of vacant lots in the city.

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]