Kalamazoo increases municipal water and wastewater rates to cover improvements

Mar 1, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Starting March 1, residents in Kalamazoo will pay more for municipal water and wastewater.

Rates for both services are increasing to pay for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of utilities, as well as cover the costs of projects including the lead pipe replacement program, water quality, and improvement to wastewater treatment plants.

“We hear concerns that folks may have about the cost of the utility, and we understand that,” said James Baker, Kalamazoo's public services director. But, he says, rates are the only way the city pays for projects.

“We've got infrastructure investment that we've got to do, everything from system operations to capital projects,” Baker said.

As part of the city ordinance, residents will pay about $5 extra each month with both water and wastewater increases.

“We’re at a time period, in terms of age of utility, that it's time for some reinvestment," Baker said. "So essentially, if our rates don't sustain our work, then the work's got to stop."

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