Sanilac Township officials will be meeting Thursday afternoon and may be asked to clarify a recent new policy on water use. The township recently took action regarding water usage of township hydrants by fire departments, private contractors and individuals filling pools.
According to the new policy, the township felt 258 township water users should not pay for identified usage of the systems’ water. The policy states, “actual users, if they can be identified, should pay for the water usage.”
Township Supervisor Bill Noelke said there is no fee, as stated in the policy, for the fire department or residents in case of a fire for anyone who is in the Water District. Charges are only for those fires or other hydrant usage for those not in the Water District or by a contractor working within the Water District.
Supervisor Noelke said, “It is felt by the board if you are paying $14,500.00 over 30 years to build the infrastructure to supply potable water that you have done your share to support the community.”
The Water District boundaries consist of both sides of US 25 from Lexington Twp. North to Snover Rd.. It then jogs around the Village of Port Sanilac, goes West on Hyde Rd. North up Greening /Whitney through the Twp. right of way then back across the Northern Village Twp. boundary through private land back to US 25.
In an email to Sanilac Broadcasting, Supervisor Noelke explained, “Why would the Village use our hydrants, they have their own? If the East Sanilac Fire Authority or Applegate F.D. responds to a fire in Sanilac Twp. they may be billed for use of a township hydrant if the fire is not in Water district. Likewise if they, the Carsonville F.D. Or Lexington F.D. Choose to use Sanilac Twp. Hydrants to fill pools or other exercises using water from the fire hydrant they would be charged. ”
He went on to add, “Sanilac township owns the water infrastructure and fire hydrants every 500 feet from Village of Lexington Northern village limits through all of Lexington Twp. along US 25. This is why I have included all these departments. Basically the township should have instituted this policy on day one of the Water system going online back in 2006. However, township officials did not anticipate individuals filling their crock wells, pools etc. as they had no experience running a water system. Time has taught the board these lessons and they felt the 258 actual water users should not have to pay for water they are not using.”
The Village of Port Sanilac, according to the description of the Water District, is not in the service area and could incur water use charges if they did not use their own hydrants, based on the township’s policy. The same would be true for the newly formed Sanilac East Fire Authority or any other fire department outside of the Water District.