Lead pipe plan could raise water rates

(WILX)
Published: Apr. 26, 2019 at 10:25 PM EDT
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Mid-Michigan customers could soon see a big change in their water bills.

The City of Jackson is working on a plan to comply with the state's tougher water quality standards.

As News 10's Cryss Walker reports the costs could fall back on you.

Five years after the Flint Water Crisis Michigan's failing infrastructure is a still a major focal point.

Now the state is getting strict on municipalities by requiring the removal of all lead service lines.

“So what that means is for a lot of communities is digging up the service lines, verifying them and if a lead pipe is found then it has to be replaced,” said Jackson Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick.

Jackson is working on a plan to raise $184 million for the unfunded mandate.

Under the current proposal water customers will be hit with the bill.

“When we look at this residents are looking at a cost of uh an increase in quarterly billing of anywhere from 88 percent to 115 percent,” Dimick explained.

There are 11,000 lead lines in Jackson and the city has until 2040 to replace them.

“This is the line that goes from the water main to your home so this is going to be going under the sidewalk through your front yard that's where we're going to be doing the digging essentially,” Dimick said.

The Jackson City Council is currently evaluating proposals that would ultimately increase water rates.

“So that's why we're trying to look at ways to soften the impact and look at going to monthly billing or changing how we do our billing through looking at usage and different rates that we have,” Dimick continued.

Members are expected to revisit the issue in the near future.

To view all of Jackson's water proposals click the link below and view pages 189-234.

https://www.cityofjackson.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_04232019-758