Plant Says Rate Increase Is Not A Dirty Trick - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Plant Says Rate Increase Is Not A Dirty Trick

Leoni township took out a $34 million dollar loan in 2010 to help build a new waste management facility, but now say residents will see a 40 percent rate hike to help pay to keep it running.

 As Nick Perreault explains it's a decision that may seem dirty, but one the plant says will provide a clear future.

Each day 2.5 million gallons of sewage flow through Leoni townships wastewater treatment plant.

"For several years now, Leoni's sewer fund has been kind of the bank for these other townships so when there isn't enough money, Leoni Township Sewer fund kicks in that money," said General Manager John Zang.

But not anymore, the plant's General Manager John Zang says residents from the 13 communities that use the center will see a $9 dollar a month increase on their bills starting in April.

"They anticipated that the growth in the area would create funds that would be paying for the necessary additional money needed, that never happened," Zang said.

Which now sticks over 12,000 customers like Pam Briskey paying a higher bill.

"I think it's going to hurt a lot of people, because vineyard lake is a resort lake, I mean a lot of people are there only from Memorial day to Labor day, and that doesn't seem fair to them either," Briskey said.

For Craig Douglas, it's an issue of poor management.

"The biggest problem we have is their accounting practices they've never been forthcoming with the information to any of the townships," Douglas said.

Program Manager Tom High says these are the heart of the process, 26,000 filters around the facility and he says it's important to have money to replace them in order to keep this facility running.

"If we couldn't do it, you'd begin to have a stream that is potentially polluted as it goes through Jackson," High said.

High says an increase in your bill is the only way to make sure the city and it's waste can keep moving in the right direction.

The Leoni township wastewater plant says the money will be used to fix equipment and establish an operations fund.

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