Ishpeming residents will see a hike in their sewer and water rates, effective immediately.
The Ishpeming City Council voted unanimously to increase rates for both utilities by about $12 a month for minimum users and $11 for the average user.
The council said the rate increase was necessary to help repair the current water and sewer systems that are old and out of date.
“No one likes to increase rates, but if we don’t do the work, it’s bad business for the residents who are using the infrastructure,” Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said. “I think this has been studied by the council for the past few months.”
“I have seen the water system…I’ve seen the sewer system…and they’ve been basically forgotten for a good number of years,” Ishpeming Mayor Mike Tall said. “Had they been kept up and kept up, we wouldn’t be in this situation.”
“Do I like them (the rate increases)? No. Do we have to do them? Yes. If we don’t, you’re not going to have to worry about water and sewer bills because you won’t have any infrastructure to handle it.”
The council also approved a decrease of the garbage pick up fees by $5.
The Council discussed Ishpeming’s 2014 budget, and it was approved. The city will take in just under $235 thousand dollars in revenue.
An increase was was made to a millage for pension funds to the police and fire departments.