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2010-06-16 / Front Page

Lapeer signs onto water authority

BY JEFF HOGAN 810-45202640 • jhogan@mihomepaper.com

LAPEER — The escalating cost of water continues to drive local dialog on the matter of securing an alternate source other than from the City of Detroit.

Last week, the Lapeer City Commissioners approved a resolution for articles of incorporation for the Karegnondi Water Authority. That authority will own and operate the proposed water pipeline to run from Lake Huron to Genesee County.

Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac counties, as well as the cities of Flint and Lapeer are the incorporating members of the authority.

The motion of the Karegnondi project is one more step that could help in negotiations with Detroit. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, with its aging system, continues to raise rates with another $17,393 monthly assessment to take effect in July to members of the Greater Lapeer County Utilities Authority.

The GLCUA has 10 members, only four of which actually use water currently. Those include the village of Almont, with one tap and one user, Imlay City with one tap and approximately 2,500 users, Mayfield Township with one tap and one user, and the city of Lapeer with three taps and about 5,000 users.

The other entities include Almont, Elba, Goodland, Imlay, Lapeer and Oregon Townships. Although they sit on the GLCUA board, they currently have either no taps or no users.

The Lapeer City Commission had previously approved a resolution to allow city manager Dale Kerbyson, on behalf of the City of Lapeer, to be involved in negotiations regarding the Karegnond water authority. By approving the articles of incorporation, the City of Lapeer will have one fifth of the responsibility of the newly formed board.

The Karegnondi Water Authority takes its name from a Canadian Indian tribal word for “big water,” alluding to Lake Huron in this case. The proposed pipeline is estimated to cost $600 million.

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