Ishpeming residents to see increase in water rates

Ishpeming has had 45 water–main system breaks so far in 2013.

A special city council meeting was held Thursday to deal with the issue.  City officials say the water and sewer system is old and needs updating.

The water issues the city faces has it operating at a loss.  Experts were brought in to help rectify the problem and assist with grant opportunities.

“We have experienced a significant loss in our revenues, significant increase in our costs to the point where our sewer and water utilities combined have lost over $500,000 in the past year, we are going to be bankrupt if we don’t solve the problem soon,” Ishpeming Interim City Manager John Kangas said.

“The city is eligible for this grant but one of the portions of the grants is called disadvantage status and that depends on how much costs your customers are seeing,” GEI Consultant Mark Stoor said.

Even with grants, matching funds will be required.

The bottom line is, Ishpeming residents will see an increase in their water bills, but how much is unclear.

A public hearing is scheduled for November 6, where city officials will present their findings and possible solutions.

Other items discussed were the Second and Third Street renovation project and a pay raise of just over $3,000 was approved for the city attorney.