Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 H2O rate increase Previous Next
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Homer
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Username: Homer

Post Number: 79
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why should those who pay their water bill subsidize those who don't?

Below is from today's Det News.......

This year's proposal includes a 3.5 percent average water and sewer rate increase for suburban customers and about a 9.2 percent increase for city residents. Water department officials say the jump is needed to replace its aging infrastructure.

In Detroit, more than half of the increase would pay for delinquent water bills, raising nearly $14 million. Annual unpaid bills cost the city about $24 million, but water department officials said a new monthly billing system should help offset some of that cost.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8302
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You do realize that this happens in nearly every other industry such as electricity, gas, mortgage, etc.

The major problem is how long the city let's customers go without shutting off water and the fact that Detroit must subsidize Detroit non-payers instead of the entire customer base subsidizing it.

If anything people in the suburbs should be happy about this set up that costs bill paying citizens of Detroit much harder than those in the burbs.

Seems like a version of water redlining.
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Fury13
Member
Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

City Council would have a fit if DWSD actually tried to shut off service to delinquent accounts. That's the main reason for this; Council will not allow DWSD to actually try to collect with the threat of shutoff.
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8303
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 12:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Amend original post: I forgot that individual municipalities collect the bills of their respective water users. In that case it is the fault of the city that they have so many delinquent/defaulted bills so it shoudl sadly be taken on by the city.

Fury - Good point. CC needs to fight for the benefit of paying citizens not just the poor.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 493
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What is the harm seen in shutting off water for unpaid water bills?
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Jdkeepsmiling
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Username: Jdkeepsmiling

Post Number: 199
Registered: 01-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 7:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlotte....water is like heat in December...kind of a necessity to ummmmmmmm survive.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 392
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 7:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm pretty sure the city shuts off water for unpaid bills.
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Broken_main
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Username: Broken_main

Post Number: 1186
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 9:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm pretty sure of it too.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 977
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know I caught my dead beat neighbors stealing my water to flush their toilets with. They also had their gas and electric turned off. One turn of the inside valve to the outside spigot and they were gone in a week and my waterbill got cut down considerably. I know they did not wash dishes because there would always be paper plates or fruit juice containers blowing into my yard. They also had three new cars in the driveway! Money for wasteful stuff but not to pay the bills for life's most essential things.

There are valves by the sidewalk that the city can turn on and off.
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Fnemecek
Member
Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 2363
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 11:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

DP:
Congrats on getting rid of the dead beat neighbors.
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Miss_cleo
Member
Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 396
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 7:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, if you live out in the *evil* country like I do, you have a well and a propane tank. So go ahead and complain about yet another water increase while I sit back and giggle
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Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 494
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 8:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"They also had three new cars in the driveway! Money for wasteful stuff but not to pay the bills for life's most essential things."

DETROIT: Where people's cars cost more than their house.
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El_jimbo
Member
Username: El_jimbo

Post Number: 53
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlottepaul,

Car's more expensive than homes is not a Detroit thing. There's lots of that going round.
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Yvette248
Member
Username: Yvette248

Post Number: 437
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 11:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't appreciate the gas prices of my thrifty Mercury Tracer subsidizing the gluttonous ways of the SUV crowd either.
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Gistok
Member
Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3637
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 1:20 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miss Cleo, thanks for reminding us (once again!) why you are held in such high regard on this forum....
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Croweblack
Member
Username: Croweblack

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 1:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jt1 said: You do realize that this happens in nearly every other industry such as electricity, gas, mortgage, etc.

Except the difference is--no one oversees the water department.

got a problem with an insurance company?
there is a state office that handles the complaints.

got a problem with the electric company? there is a state board to complain to.

got a problem with the gas company? there is a state board to complain to

The water department is an entity unto itself. If you have a complaint about it who do you go to? that's right the water department.

Here is an example:

I had a complaint about a water bill.

In order to file a complaint you had to request a hearing.

If you pay the bill in between the time of the request for a hearing and the actual hearing you lose your right to the hearing.

I made the request in 1999. They called in 2004 to let me know when my hearing was!!!

I swear to God I wish I was making this up.

That department is an obvious example of the good it would do for the city to go into Receivership.

They would audit that department from top to bottom and find so much fraud and waste it would be a national joke.

Just try and ask for the formula in how they determine per unit costs for water.

just try I dare you.

The suburbs can't even get it.
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Jt1
Member
Username: Jt1

Post Number: 8309
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Just try and ask for the formula in how they determine per unit costs for water.

just try I dare you.

The suburbs can't even get it.



The suburbs have it and have had it for a long time. The argument years ago was about the SW that calculated the rates. It was turned over. Victor Mercado has also met with city/county leaders to explain the rate setting. I was at a meeting when he presented it and explained it. You would be amazed at how ignorant the OC leaders were because they just could not grasp the concept of peak usage.

quote:

got a problem with an insurance company?
there is a state office that handles the complaints.

got a problem with the electric company? there is a state board to complain to.

got a problem with the gas company? there is a state board to complain to



Have you ever complained to any of these entities? It is as effective as beating your head against the wall. When it comes t insurance and utility rates the state 'oversight' is nothing more than a rubberstamp.
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Ndavies
Member
Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2448
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 3:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I found Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr's remarks from the article to be a little silly.

quote:

Council President Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said he doesn't want rate payers to have to foot the bill for the assistance program.

"It should be funded some other way," Cockrel said.



Where does he expect them to get the money? The only sources of income for the Water department are their rate payers or a handout from the rest of the government.

If he was expecting them to start a charitable organization to do this, wouldn't the city council be just as able to do this?
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Miss_cleo
Member
Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 397
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not a problem Gistok. Its threads like these that remind me of just why I left SE Michigan.
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Fury13
Member
Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1354
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The suburbs have it and have had it for a long time. The argument years ago was about the SW that calculated the rates. It was turned over. Victor Mercado has also met with city/county leaders to explain the rate setting. I was at a meeting when he presented it and explained it. You would be amazed at how ignorant the OC leaders were because they just could not grasp the concept of peak usage.

Exactly. The formula is out there and accessible. Now, some of the suburbs may not LIKE the formula; that's another issue.

And, when someone like Oakland County Drain Commissioner John McCulloch whines about "not having all the facts," or "lack of transparency in rate-setting" by DWSD, realize that he's vying for control of the system.

He doesn't want transparency in rate-setting info; that's already being done. No, he wants "transparency" in another sense -- the complete itemization of DWSD's operating and maintenance costs. For example, he wants to know exactly how much money DWSD is spending on items like pencils and computers, so he can cry "that's too much -- mismanagement!" and make political hay with another "us vs. them" strategy.

He wants to microanalyze $3.51 post-it pads and $27 push brooms.

In other words, McCulloch and his ilk want to be able to have the power to dictate day-to-day management of the system -- and decree just how much money should be spent in each operational area.

Well, the last time I looked, Oakland County doesn't own the system and didn't build it, either. And he can withdraw from the system any time.
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Supersport
Member
Username: Supersport

Post Number: 11264
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Spoken like a true Detroiter. :-)
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Fnemecek
Member
Username: Fnemecek

Post Number: 2368
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Well, the last time I looked, Oakland County doesn't own the system and didn't build it, either. And he can withdraw from the system any time.


Or better yet - buy it from the City of Detroit.
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Mayor_sekou
Member
Username: Mayor_sekou

Post Number: 527
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2007 - 4:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Would it be illegal to force them to become a part of the city of Detroit if they want to continue using our water? Like they did in LA, I thought that was real smart of them. Outside of the public outcry what would be the obstacles to do that?
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Croweblack
Member
Username: Croweblack

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 4:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

JT1 SAID Have you ever complained to any of these entities? It is as effective as beating your head against the wall. When it comes t insurance and utility rates the state 'oversight' is nothing more than a rubberstamp.

yes I have and it was great. Had a problem with an insurance company called the board filled out the complaint and whammmo within two weeks got an answer.

Estimated gas bills were a little high, I asked for a reading, they came, they read it and bam had an adjustment on my bill.

Now the water department:

Have a high estimated bill?--Ask for a reading.

The guys come out and quickly hang their green tag on the door before you can answer the door.

"uh sorry we knocked and no one answered the door"

So you have to have someone outside waiting for these idiots, once you do get a reading, guess how long it takes for the reading to be applied to the bill? up to 8 months if it ever happens.

It is the worst run City department HANDS DOWN.
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Detroitplanner
Member
Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 980
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"DP: Congrats on getting rid of the dead beat neighbors."

I wish it was me, it was the City evicted them due to never paying taxes. They moved into a house when an older relative died and did nothing but mess things up.

Miss Cleo, I have a propane tank and a well up north as well, the propane tank is a pain in the butt as far as I am concerned. The water in my area is soft, but I still don't drink it. I don't know if it is full of piss or not, I'd rather drink the bottled stuff than spend two weeks in a hospital with gastro problems. Give me City water any day over that!
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Miss_cleo
Member
Username: Miss_cleo

Post Number: 402
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 - 5:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thats too bad, our water is really good, and the propane tank isnt a problem either. I will take both of them over a water and a gas bill every time.

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