The Mount Clemens City Commission met on Aug. 21 to discuss water rate increases, among other agenda items.

The Mount Clemens City Commission met on Aug. 21 to discuss water rate increases, among other agenda items.

Photo by Dean Vaglia

Water rates increasing in Mount Clemens

By: Dean Vaglia | Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal | Published August 30, 2023


MOUNT CLEMENS — Water customers on the Mount Clemens system can expect their rates to go up soon as the City Commission approved a slate of rate increases at its Aug. 21 meeting.

City officials cited a decreasing amount of water customers as the cause for the higher rates.

In the memo outlining why the board should approve the increases, City Manager Gregg Shipman writes, “Over the last 11 years, water sales have decreased by 26% or about 2% per year. This has resulted in a loss of revenue and working capital. Repairs and capital improvements at both facilities are consistently ongoing due to the physical age of both plants. We anticipate the need for major capital expenditures to maintain services.”

The retail water consumption rate is now $4 per 100 cubic feet with a quarterly fixed rate of $33.30, while the sewer consumption rate is $6.35 with a quarterly fixed rate of $25.50. The city’s rates for wholesale customers in Clinton Township, Harrison Township and the Selfridge base have gone up drastically. Clinton Township customers have a 49.5% increase, from $27.84 to $41.63; Harrison Township increases by 33%, from $28.44 to $37.83; and Selfridge increases by 73%, from $26.54 to $45.91.

Septic vacuuming and hauling rates are increased to $454 per truck and 9 cents per gallon.

The increases come as Mount Clemens looks toward joining the Great Lakes Water Authority system, ending its role as the city’s water provider by joining the regional water network. In May, city commissioners applied for a $42 million grant to connect the city’s system to the GLWA’s.

“Water rates are never fun, and with what is going on right now with our water plant, we know we have to plan for the future and we know that we’ve never had a sustainable capital improvement plan until now,” said mayor Laura Kropp. “I’m really proud that this commission made difficult decisions to fund that capital improvement.”

According to the memo from Shipman, the increases were made independently of any future capital improvements at the city’s water filtration plant.


Digital communications contract
Commissioners approved a contract with marketing agency Hunch Free to handle the city’s digital communications including social media management, digital ads, email campaign management and media outreach. Hunch Free will provide the city monthly reports on social media metrics and other developments. Its current contract with the city is for six months at $3,650 a month.

Aside from being based in Mount Clemens and handling communications for other Macomb County governments and organizations, its work with the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority over the past year impressed city officials. Prior to the contract, the city did not have a dedicated digital communications team to handle city communications through those channels.


Early voting resolution
Commissioners passed an early voting resolution detailing how the 2022 voter-enacted election extension will work in the city.

Early voting for statewide and federal elections will last nine days, beginning on the second Saturday before Election Day through the Sunday before Election Day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The city clerk will also have the authority to add any additional days, extend early voting hours and establish early voting for county and local elections, provided the changes are made with at least 48 hours of notice. All early in-person voting will take place at City Hall regardless of any voter’s precinct.