ELY TOWNSHIP — Back when the move was made, it seemed like a good idea. Now that move is costing residents more than double what they’re used to paying for their water.
It’s going to be a stressful go for the residents of Diorite, who will very soon see a more than 100% increase in their water bills. Some past moves, or lack thereof, by the Ely township board have caused this increase. It was recommended that the township raise the bill around ten years ago, but that didn’t happen. They wanted customers to save money.
“As it worked out, we had some problems with having to treat the water system, which got pretty costly.,” said Ely Township Supervisor Bryan Johnson. “So we ate up quite a bit of money, and the balance was down to nothing.”
To treat the water system, a new well needs to be installed. After reviewing the costs to produce water , they found that it costs the township $77 per household, per month. When customers are paying $43 a month for water, obviously, the township was beginning to see their budget decrease drastically.
“We decided then to raise it up to $90 so there would be a $13 a month surplus going towards accumulating a balance,” said Johnson. “I will say the whole board doesn’t feel well about this, and they way it turned out, the way it happened. We’ve got to correct it and move on.”
The township has held a meeting with the customers, who have been less than happy about the situation.
“The biggest question they had was why wasn’t it increased all along,” Johnson. “We tried to explain, ‘Yep, you’re right. It should have.’ But hindsight is always 20/20, you know.”
Johnson said that the meeting went well otherwise, and that all 67 households know what to expect. Members of Diorite have formed the Diorite Water Project Committee and are asking for help from the public. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel yet, but the issue will slowly work itself out.
“We’ve got to keep a better eye on what it was. Hopefully we have it under control.”