Michigan Governor Rick Snyder Thursday applauded Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) for introducing a bill that would invest $110 million annually to help rebuild the state’s water infrastructure. Snyder announced a plan in February to increase investments for repairs and replacements to water and sewer infrastructure across the state.
“Providing Michiganders with access to safe drinking water and protecting our environment is paramount, and Rep. Inman’s legislation recognizes the importance of these projections,” says Snyder. “I appreciate his leadership on this important issue and look forward to working with our legislative partners to provide a strong foundation that supports continued investment in our state’s water infrastructure.”
Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission report estimated an $800 million gap in annual funding to meet the state’s water and sewer infrastructure needs. Snyder’s plan proposed a $5 fee per person per year on public water supply systems, which would generate about $110 million annually with 80 percent of the money being returned to the region it was generated it.
Inman’s bill creates an infrastructure fund and requires water utility systems to provide an inventory of their meter sizes for residential and nonresidential accounts. The sizes of meters determine the amount of water that can be supplied, with larger meters using more water.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, with guidance from the Water Asset Management Council, will develop a fee schedule based on meter size to generate $110 million in annual revenue that will be assessed beginning in 2021. The bill puts a limit on charges for residential accounts at $20 and on nonresidential or business accounts at $400 per year.
The infrastructure fund will support asset management, a grant and loan program, emergency funds for infrastructure failures, and water assistance programs for low-income households.
“It is vital that we take these urgently needed measures to protect our natural resources and our environment,” Rep. Inman says. “Investing in critical water infrastructure improvements will help ensure that our Great Lakes and other water resources are preserved for future generations. I want to thank Gov. Snyder for his support of this bill and look forward to working with my legislative colleagues and local government officials on this important issue.”
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