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Snyder Calls For Fee To Pay For Water Infrastructure

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Governor Rick Snyder has called for an assessment on water bills to help pay for fixing pipes and other infrastructure. A plan rolled out Thursday would add a dollar every year to most water bills for five years.

That would add up to an additional five dollars a year after five years. It would generate an expected 110 million dollars annually to upgrade water pipes and sewage systems. Some systems are 100 years old, says the governor’s communications director, Ari Adler.

“This is something that’s been let go for too long, and a lot of it has to do with." Says Adler. "When you’re talking about water infrastructure, because it’s all underground, its out-of-sight, out-of-mind.”

But the money raised is a small amount compared to the need, as determined by a commission appointed by the governor. That found the cost of creating a modern water system for Michigan is closer to a billion dollars a year. 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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