On July 1, 2022, the City of Ferndale’s 2022-23 water rate increase will go into effect. The increase was approved by City Council on April 25, 2022, as part of the annual budget process.
Residential and commercial water customers will see an increase from $11.68 to $12.83 per unit—a total of $1.15 per unit. The average Ferndale household uses about 10 units per three-month billing cycle.
The City’s commitment to preserving safe access to water for all, which includes the policy of never shutting off water for nonpayment, remains unchanged.
The City maintains its policy of never shutting off water for nonpayment; access to clean, safe water is a human right
While increases are never welcome, the reason for it is essential: to maintain and make planned improvements to the City’s water system.
It’s key to note that the water system is self-sustaining. We’ve all heard the jokes and criticisms about cities “getting rich” by raising rates, but it’s simply not the case. The City doesn’t make money from water or utility billing, nor can it use funding from other sources, such as the General Fund, to pay for water infrastructure.
This means that improvements to the water system must be paid for by water customers. And these kinds of improvements are a necessity: water infrastructure maintenance is essential to all municipal water systems, and even more critical in older infrastructure like ours and those of our neighboring cities. It is your right as a Ferndale citizen to have access to clean water; it’s our duty as a municipal water provider to deliver it safely. That’s where planned maintenance comes in.
In addition to planned updates, the City is undergoing a multi-year, $10 million lead service line replacement program. The water Ferndale delivers to customers is lead-free; however, lead can get into water if it passes through a lead service line. The surest way to protect against lead in water is to get the lead out altogether—and that’s exactly what we’re doing, updating infrastructure for the estimated 30% of homes and properties that contain full or partial lead service lines.
The City worked with Plante Moran, a leading financial consultancy firm, to undergo a water rate study. Their results showed that rates have not kept up with increasing costs and capital needs, and the City was advised to raise costs to provide necessary system improvements.
The City is investing $280,000 into stormwater infrastructure to help meet the demands of intensifying weather due to climate change, as well as making updates to strengthen the water main system and reduce the number of main breaks
There are programs available through the State of Michigan and Oakland County to assist those experiencing challenges.
To learn more about these programs, or to discuss your account in greater detail, please contact the City’s Water Billing Specialist at 248-546-2374 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, including resources about how to access and read your digital water account, how to read your bill, and more, visit www.ferndalemi.gov/resources/water.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the City’s Water Billing Specialist at 248-546-2374 or by email at email@example.com.