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Snyder calls for fee to pay for water infrastructure

Flickr User Maarten Van Demme

Governor Rick Snyder has called for an assessment on water bills to help pay for fixing pipes and other infrastructure.

That would add up to an additional five dollars a year after five years. It would generate an expected 110 (m) 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, when you’re talking about water infrastructure, because it’s all underground, its out-of-sight, out-of-mind.”

He says water infrastructure in Michigan has been neglected.

“We’re looking at 50 to 70 to 100 years old in some places. We still have some water systems in this state that use wood pipes. We have systems that when you look at the last time major work was done on them, there are notes reminding workers to feed the horses.”

He says the money would generate 110 (m) million dollars annually to improve water systems.

“This is talking about the pipes that deliver water to homes and businesses, as well as our systems for dealing with sewer and waste.”

Adler says the upgrades would reduce the number of sewage overflows into lakes and rivers, and fix water systems that are 50 to 100 years old.

It would be up to the Republican-controlled Legislature to approve the fee plan. 

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is heard daily on WCMU's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.