Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Bl. Twp. WATER and SEWER proposed BUDGET 2018-2019

Hi All,
No news yet from the Oakland County Circuit Court about the class-action lawsuit.  Why not is a big question.   Meanwhile, Bloomfield Township boldly presented another "hidden" budget for water and sewer.  "Hidden"  because it was NOT presented with the other township departments annual budget approval process and is not presented to the public as a public hearing at the March 26, 2018 meeting, either. 

 The only place that I know to find the Water and Sewer BUDGET for Bloomfield Township is in the Board Packet of the Board of Trustees dated March 26, 2018.    This budget was NOT included with the rest of the Township Budget because Supervisor Savoie calls the Water and Sewer an "Enterprise Fund"  and he says it is not necessary to approve this over $26 MILLION department.  Ever since UHY became the township auditor,  they, Supervisor Savoie and Finance Director, Jason Theis, have given this department that "Enterprise Fund"  designation and eliminated it from the annual budget approval process.  I certainly don't agree.   This is the third year Savoie has removed water and sewer department from the full budget approval process.    
Choose:  Board of Trustees/  choose Board Packet/  choose 2018/   choose March 26
A 141 page pdf will load.... water and sewer starts on page 88 of this document
Take a look at how much ADMINISTRATION and OTHER costs Bloomfield Township has in this budget.   The RTS (Ready to Serve) FEES  for water and sewer per quarter are a large part of the bill ($4.4 million est. /year collected from about 17,000 households and unknown # of businesses).  That $4.4 million FEE (not tax) collectively paid to the township gets you NO water and NO sewer service, just the possibility to receive services.  Thus, RTS... ready to serve.

The workers are really township employees.  The pay raises, health and pensions are all township generated.  The township can and has continued to ADD more employees to this department  that effectively eliminates those employee costs and pensions/health  from the General Fund and transfers those costs to the "Enterprise Fund"  and into YOUR water and sewer bills.   The "Enterprise Fund" of W & S ,  according to Savoie,  must generate all the money needed to operate that Fund.    The taxpayers have the right to know about all these charges and costs at a public hearing.

I believe that the big users of the product (water/sewer)  in the township are not paying their fair share because of the way the rates are determined.   Secondly,  I feel all the customers have continually been overcharged for 3 months each year because the township adjusts (usually raises) the CHARGES to the township residents on April 1 of each year,  but the actual adjusted charges for the water and sewer don't change to the township until JULY 1.     So, for 3 months every year,  the township collects more money on the water/sewer bills they mail out to the taxpayers  than the rate they are actually paying to purchase the product.

At the March 26 meeting,  the rate increases were approved, but no motion on approving the water and sewer budget.

From the Board Packet document: