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Detroit City Council Approves Water Rate Increase

Detroit residents’ water bills are becoming more expensive. The City Council Tuesday approved a 7.5 percent rate increase. Council Member Mary Sheffield was one of the four votes against the change.

I do understand that the need for revenue for the department, but also understand that there is waste within the department. There is theft within the department. There are so many things within the department that I think that they need to look at internally to figure out ways that they can save within the department.”

-Mary Sheffield, Detroit Council Member

Sheffield says she hopes a new affordability plan from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department will mitigate the change in rates.

City Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown says tied to the increase is the creation of a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to determine how best to assist low-income residents with water payments.

Officials say the increase will cost the average household about $5 more each month. 

Council members voting in favor of the change were Scott Benson, George Cushingberry, Jr., Gabe Leland, Andre Spivey and James Tate. Voting against it were Janee Ayers, Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, President Brenda Jones and Sheffield.

Image credit: Quinn Klinefelter/WDET

About the Author

Marissa Gawel

Associate News Producer

Fan of road trips and roasted vegetables. Currently reports from WDET’s newsroom.

mgawel@wdet.org   Follow @marissagawel

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