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      Ishpeming water/sewer bills to increase

      Ishpeming city residents are going to see an increase in their sewer and water bills. The City Council unanimously approved emergency ordinances to increase both services Wednesday night. According to a recent study done by GEI Consultants, the two services are losing $564,000 a year.

      Public Works employees say the loss is attributed to increased costs to maintain an outdated system and a decrease in customer revenue. The GEI study explains the average user's sewer bill will increase by 30 percent, while water will increase by about 13 percent. By raising the rates, the city will generate $250,000 a year; money used to maintain the systems.

      "I pound my fist and scream and did all the appropriate things to fight against the raise in the rates," said Ishpeming Mayor Mike Tall. "Do I like them? No. Do we have to do them? Yes, because if we don't, you're not going to have to worry about water and sewer bills because you won't have an infrastructure to handle it."

      To help offset the increase, the council voted to lower the cost for city garbage service. The council, Wednesday, also passed a balanced budget and welcomed their new City Manager, Mark Slown.