Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2018 - 26
Service Goals for
After a presentation by
Cheboygan Department of Public Works
Director Jason Karmol, the Cheboygan
City Council voted unanimously to adopt
the level of service goals as they had been
presented to them.
Karmol had spent four days with
Mike Engles of Michigan Rural Water
Association working on rates, and
from their discussions, he put together
the presentation of the city's asset
management and rates for the water and
"The first thing we did was balance the
budget. Then we started adding proposed
improvements," said Karmol. "One of the
things that we noticed was that we need
to raise rates just to balance both budgets.
It's a small increase in the water and a little
bit more in the sewer."
Engles also suggested the city
council hold a special meeting just for
the enterprise funds of water and sewer,
FIRST QUARTER 2018
BY KORTNY HAHN
because of the complications involved
with the rates and the choices the city has
"It's fairly complicated, but we tried to
boil it down to you guys to the choices and
the dollar amounts associated with those
choices," said Karmol.
Engles offered to come back a fifth
and sixth day to explain to council what its
options are and answer any questions. The
city will need to do something around the
time it adopts its budget to adopt the rates
for water and sewer, so council voted to
have Engles at its Jan. 23 meeting. That
meeting will start two hours before their
regularly scheduled council meeting.
Karmol's presentation was a preview of
things that will be looked at during the special
meeting, outlining the city's assets, such as
the water tower, water mains and the money
needed to maintain or replace them.
All this information was put into a
spreadsheet, an asset management tool
created by Karmol, with 80 projects in the
list that would take over $1,000 to maintain
or replace. He can use this tool for water,
wastewater, DPW or anything the city
needs for asset management.
"It helps to balance a budget and
project future costs out," said Karmol.
Items are put in the list, given a
replacement value and the spreadsheet
calculates how much money is needed
to replace that item given its lifetime. For
example, the water tower was constructed
in 1964 and had a life expectancy of
The level of service goals adopted by
the board talks about if there is a problem
or a customer complains, it will change the
critical nature, condition and performance
of the system. This changes the rating.
For example, on Center Street, when
there were complaints with the water, if it
was adequate or medium, the complaints
would change the rating to poor or failed,