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Kalamazoo commissioners look at water rate hikes to pay for projects

Water running from tap
Creative Commons

City commissioners in Kalamazoo are scheduled to vote Monday night on whether to raise rates for water and sewer services.

The city’s public services director, James Baker, told commissioners earlier this month the rate increases are needed to help fund improvements to the water system. Those include the replacement of lead service lines, and extending the city’s water system to two townships where harmful PFAS chemicals were found in the water supply.

Kalamazoo has more than 120,000 water customers.

The proposed ordinance would raise water revenue by 14%, and wastewater revenue by 10%.

The city estimates the changes would cost the average homeowner in the city an additional $4.71 per month, and an additional $3.18 for people living outside the city.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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