Clawson water and sewer billing rates to increase

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published June 23, 2020

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CLAWSON — On June 16, the Clawson City Council unanimously approved recommended water and sewer rates, effective July 1.

The billing charge will increase from $18.72 to $19.19 for water and from $20.70 to $21 for sewer. The impact of the changes will result in a $2.18 total charge increase per 1,000 cubic feet per quarter.

Residents will see the changes in October 2020.

The city also decreased the water consumption rate from $29.85 to $28.98 per 1,000 cubic feet, increased the sewer consumption rate from $71.94 to $74.22 per 1,000 cubic feet, and kept the sewer debt fixed charge at $9.

Councilman Lou Samson moved for the new water and sewer average rate of $152.39 per 1,000 cubic feet to be approved and become effective for water purchased starting with the October 2020 billing cycle.

Clawson interim City Manager and Finance Director Lori Fisher said she looked back several years to get a better idea of how the rates were configured and also took into account an average increase of 2.5% passed on by the Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority.

“Some of it is infrastructure costs, depreciation and manpower, so there’s quite a bit that goes into this. Even though the flat-rate usage chart went up, some of the other numbers were actually down a little bit,” Fisher said.

Clawson Department of Public Works Director Matthew Hodges said the average adult consumer uses 10 units, or 1,000 cubic feet, per three-month period.

“I constantly hear people complain about how high our water bills are,” Councilwoman Paula Millan said. “I know that for a lot of people, this is not a lot of money, but I know for some people, every dollar is a lot of money. The only reason we’re charging them any more money is because we are taking on an extra burden.”