Delta Township looks at water, sewer rates

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Delta Township is planning ahead to prepare for future improvements to its 40-year-old wastewater treatment plant.

The Delta Township Board on Oct. 21 approved a study of water and sewer rates, one of several steps as officials plan for maintenance and upgrades.

“We are doing this study so that we can see what we’re going to need going forward for this investment,” Delta Township Supervisor Ken Fletcher said.

A new plant will be built to handle the growth of the township and the old facility will be torn down, Fletcher said. New wastewater facilities and renovations will likely take place in phases over the next five or six years and will not start until 2021.

Rate studies help to make sure the township’s utility funds are generating enough revenue to cover operating costs, capital improvements and debt service, said Brian Reed, Delta Township’s manager.

The Delta Township Board will be contracting with Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors for the water and sewer study at a cost of $32,000, according to township documents.

“A lot of us have made a career in this field to make sure that we are doing what’s right and to do our jobs and secure our fresh water bodies,” said Richard Kane, director of utilities at the wastewater treatment plant in Delta Township. “We are all outdoors people and want to make sure that the environment is well taken care of.”

Kane said township residents aren’t likely to notice any direct impact from the improvements, but plant workers will be able to better treat wastewater and protect the environment.

“Our treatment plant has had an extended life and has been very well maintained, but I think it’s time to make the investment and build proper environmental conditions,” Kane said.

The rate study cost covers both water and sewer funds and will be conducted over the next six months, Reed said.

“I’m very pleased that we’re doing this,” said Delta Township Trustee Andrea Cascarilla. “I think it’s really beneficial to have this outside review to make sure our past practices were appropriate and to kind of gauge that and to also help give us direction going forward, so I think this is wise on behalf of the township to be doing this.”

The last rate study was conducted in 2001. Having a professional rate study is something every municipality does from time to time to make sure water and sewer rates are sustainable and affordable, Reed said.

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