The Brighton Township Utilities Committee has made a recommendation regarding sewer rates that system users may find favorable.

On Monday, the committee performed its annual review of quarterly sanitary sewer rates. The review is to determine if the rates that are being charged are enough to sufficiently cover the operations, maintenance and debt service obligations of the sewer system.

The committee was presented with several options for covering a fund shortage of approximately $159,850. One option was to keep the rate the same, two options included a rate increase and the fourth suggested decreasing the debt service quarterly bill but increasing O&M costs. Committee member Frank Grapentien recommended a different option altogether.

The township is currently budgeting $200,000 in their sewer fund to cover legal fees resulting from a class action lawsuit regarding sewer taxes. Grapentien suggested covering legal expenses using money from the general fund budget, instead of increasing sewer rates to cover the cost. He also wants a reduction in the amount of interest charged to the sewer fund for its loan from the general fund. Lastly, Grapentien suggested no sewer rate increase for system users.

Sewer system user and resident Bob Potocki feels Grapentien’s suggestion is “smart” and shows a separation between citizens and those in charge. Potocki says the next step is better system management. The rest of the Utilities Committee supported Grapentien’s suggestion with a unanimous vote. The recommendation will now move to the township’s Board of Trustees. (DK)