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Gov. Rick Snyder commends legislative action supporting proposal to invest $110 million annually for critical water infrastructure updates

Thursday, April 26, 2018

LANSING, Mich. – Today Gov. Rick Snyder applauded Rep. Larry Inman for introducing a bill that would invest $110 million annually to help rebuild the state’s water infrastructure. Gov. Snyder announced a plan in February to increase investments for critical repairs and replacements to water and sewer infrastructure across the state.

“Providing Michiganders with access to safe drinking water and protecting our environment is paramount, and Representative Inman’s legislation recognizes the importance of these protections,” Gov. Snyder said. “I appreciate his leadership on this important issue and look forward to working with our legislative partners to provide a strong foundation that supports continued investment in our state’s water infrastructure.”

Gov. Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission report estimated an $800 million gap in annual funding to meet the state’s most critical water and sewer infrastructure needs. To help stimulate needed investments, the governor’s plan proposed an affordable $5 fee per person, per year on public water supply systems that would generate approximately $110 million annually – 80 percent of which would be returned to the region it was generated in.

Recent polling results show high levels of concern about the status of the state’s water infrastructure and strong support for investments to repair it.

Rep. Inman’s bill creates an infrastructure fund and requires water utility systems to provide an inventory of their meter sizes for both residential and nonresidential accounts. The sizes of meters determine the amount of water that can be supplied to homes or businesses, with those entities with larger meters using more water. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, with guidance from the Water Asset Management Council, will develop a fee schedule based on meter size, to generate $110 million in annual revenue that will be assessed beginning in 2021. The bill puts a limit on charges for residential or household accounts at $20 and a limit on nonresidential or business accounts at $400 per year.

The infrastructure fund will support critical local water infrastructure programs including asset management, a grant and loan program, emergency funds for infrastructure failures, and water assistance programs for low-income households.

“It is vital that we take these urgently needed measures to protect our natural resources and our environment,” Rep. Inman said. “Investing in critical water infrastructure improvements will help ensure that our Great Lakes and other water resources are preserved for future generations. I want to thank Governor Snyder for his support of this bill and look forward to working with my legislative colleagues and local government officials on this important issue.”

Click here to view an infographic explaining the proposal to invest in Michigan’s water infrastructure.