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Water Utility Billing Update (March 2024)

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Residents and business owners in the City of Ishpeming can expect their water utility bill to be clearer than ever before. 

The City has been installing and implementing new radio-read water meters, some of which have been paid for through a Michigan Department of Treasury Financially Distressed Cities, Villages and Townships Grant (program funded October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2024). This equipment improvement will significantly improve timeliness and increase accuracy for water billing by using radio-read technology to achieve “actual reads.” Before this infrastructure upgrade, water billing was sometimes based on “estimated reads.” Up through January 2022 851 new meters in homes had been installed. In January 2023  the total sat at 967. In 2024 we have installed 242 new meters in homes, bringing the total to 1644 to date along with many more radios on existing smart meters, up to 30 in one day this February. Installing these new meters does require an appointment and access to the inside of home. 

Additionally, water billing accuracies are now enhanced because all residences and businesses are newly assessed and properly validated and categorized for billing rates. As part of this recent assessment, the staff discovered some businesses were being billed for water usage at a residential rate and corrected the records. Going forward, residences and businesses in the City of Ishpeming will be billed based on actual read data and within their validated rate category. 

The City believes residents have a right to timely and accurate billing. This new equipment supports this requirement. It is important to note that the City will not be asking any resident or business owner to back pay for water usage due to a failure to collect accurate readings on the City’s behalf. Credits to accounts will be issued by the City to residents and business owners who have previously been incorrectly billed more than their actual usage before the more accurate radio-read meters were installed. This billing correction will span 2022 to the installation of new radio-read meters, which began during October 2019.

Please direct any questions to the City’s hardworking billing department by calling (906) 485-1091 or by visiting City Hall (101 E Division Street) between 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

 

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