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Published: Wednesday, 10/19/2005

Dundee delays water meter vote

DUNDEE, Mich. - Village Council last night tabled a decision on a proposed ordinance permitting residents and businesses to install deduct meters to their sprinkler systems.

The issue grew out of complaints this summer of high water/sewage bills related to the hot, dry season.

In Dundee, customers get charged for sewer usage related to their water usage, which penalizes high-water consumption users, particularly those using sprinkler systems.

Installation of a deduct system would separate sewer usage and result in lower bills for consumers using sprinkler systems.

Patrick Burtch, village manager, completed a study that showed installation of deduct meters by the 83 business and residential consumers using sprinkler systems would result in a loss of $93,000 to the village's sewer fund.

"These figures are compelling for a decision not to institute the use of deduct meters," he said. "Although fairness may dictate the use of these meters, it can be fairly argued that customers with sprinkler systems are subsidizing sewer rates for those systems."

Councilman Vaughn Massingill suggested council wait until March 1 to decide. At issue, he said, is a new sewage-treatment plant that could affect the council's decision.

In other business, council approved hiring Larry Kurtz as the village's building inspector.

Mr. Kurtz has been working as an assistant to former building inspector Ed Baranowski for 18 months. Mr. Baranowski retired Oct. 1, and Mr. Kurtz has been working as interim inspector since then.

Mr. Kurtz, 58, is a former building contractor who has worked as a building inspector in LaSalle and Raisinville townships.

Meanwhile, Mr. Burtch said construction of the new village hall should begin early next month. He said construction has been delayed by an unnecessary permit process being requested by the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The $1.5 million, 14,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed next summer.

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