Harper Woods Water and Sewer Rate Increase
On June 19th, the Harper Woods City Council approved a rate increase for residents' water and sewer bills due to rising costs and the need for repair, maintenance and replacement of aging system components. For a household using three units of water, the anticipated monthly increase will amount to $5.25 per household. In 2016, a rate analysis conducted by the engineering firm Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick deemed it necessary to increase the rates three times over the following years — this latest change in rates is the second increase. The third increase is planned for 2018, for an amount not yet determined. The city council agreed that the increase is needed to keep the city from going bankrupt in the light of higher infrastructure costs, wages, costs and increased rates from the Great Lakes Water Authority. Residents will see the costs go into effect beginning this month. Harper Woods' water and sewer rates are still the lowest of the surrounding communities.
Grosse Pointe School Board
A budget work session of the Grosse Pointe Public school system board of education revealed concerning news about the board in early June. The meeting revealed that an original deficit of $2.3 million — which the board had been working to resolve for several months — had increased by $1.1 million. The State of Michigan required that the board vote on a balanced budget for the 2017-18 school year by June 30th. The state also required that the budget be made available to the public 10 days before it was adopted. Until this unfortunate news broke, school board members believed that they were close to agreeing upon 10 proposed action items to meet their goal of reducing the deficit by up to $2,286,000. Some of these items included reducing 11 full-time equivalent teaching positions (due to declining enrollment), along with middle school front office support for administrators, counseling and office staff, and increasing high school and middle school athletic participation fees, among others. Now, the Grosse Pointe school board has agreed to not pursue additional cuts beyond those that they already agreed on, and acknowledge that legislative actions in Lansing are a big factor in what they are able to do.
Grosse Pointe Roadwork
In offering the cheapest bid to the City of Grosse Pointe, Pro-Line Asphalt won the contract for making repairs to Gross Pointe's roads. Grosse Pointe residents should expect to see $912,643 worth of roadwork hit the streets in upcoming months.
The following streets are expected to receive repairs:
• Lakeland Street between Jefferson Ave. and the cul-de-sac, and between Kercheval Ave. and Waterloo St.
• Washington Rd. from Chalfonte to Mack Ave.
• Rivard Blvd. between Goethe St. and Chalfonte Ave.
• Kercheval Pl. from Cadieux Rd. to Notre Dame St.
Of course, the question on everyone's mind is, "How long will this take?" The answer may not be straightforward, given how often Michigan's weather shifts and the nature of this round of repairs. As for many of these streets, work is being done on the foundations of the roads, and accurate estimates can only be made after the crew has stripped away the surface asphalt.