St. Joseph County Commission on Aging may be forced to raise monthly rent of its tenants at Rivers Enrichment Center in Three Rivers to cover an unexpected hike in utilities.
COA director Pam Riley told commissioners during their executive committee meeting Wednesday that the cost for water and sewer services from the city of Three Rivers is expected to increase by $12,000 this year compared to 2020. In addition, electric service to the residential component is anticipated to cost $3,900 more this year versus last.
She said the water and sewer increase is due to the municipality’s costs necessary to replace water pipes citywide, per state of Michigan mandate. Riley said the residential component of the COA headquarters has been open for two years and there has not been an increase within that 24-month period.
Riley has proposed a $20-per-month increase. If implemented, she said that would generate an additional $10,000 a year – still short of the projected utility and electric cost increases.
Riley said the facility’s 46 units are not metered for water or sewer individually. She said she has inquired with the city about receiving a senior discount, which could shave at most 10 percent off the monthly bill. Riley, however, said the city has not gotten back to her about the request.
Unexpected utility increases? Does anyone out there truly expect their energy costs to stay the same? At the least when the massive renovations were going on separate electric meters should have been installed. Also the COA is not equipped to be a landlord. As to the city water and sewer rates – that’s just your city administration in action. Poor hiring decisions put them in this boat and now the entire city (taxpayers) has to bail it out. Just wait til Constantine leaves the system. Better be factoring that in next year.