By Jessica Mathews /

An agreement for wastewater treatment and water service for a subdivision between Genoa Township and the City of Brighton has been updated.

The original agreement between the township and City for Pine Creek was approved in 1989 with a term of 30 years. An amendment was later made to make the township responsible for reading Pine Creek meters and billing residents for water and sewer usage. Each year, the township adopted new rates for Pine Creek bas on rates that were set by the City. A memo states the township performed no other operations or maintenance activities outside of setting the meter, reading the device initially and performing quarterly billing. When the expiration of the original agreement was imminent, the township began negotiating with the City to amend the original agreement, which took around one-and-a-half years. As part of that process, the goal was to craft an agreement that would improve service for residents. When residents called with a suspected leak, wanted a curb stop adjusted or wanted to report damage to a manhole or valve box, the township had to instruct residents that they couldn’t help them and they needed to contact the City. The township heard frustrations from residents frequently, because they technically paid their bill to the township. Additionally often times, the City didn’t have certain homes in their system s they would send residents back to the township. The new agreement consolidates operations and maintenance along with billing to the City, which is said to provide residents with improved service and lower costs.

Supervisor Bill Rogers told WHMI this goes back a long time and they were finding that staff was spending too much time explaining to customers that the township reads the meters and collect payments but any repairs or other issues were handled by the City’s DPW department. He said that’s the way it was for all that time and they’re now just cleaning it up so they can handle both and people have one-stop shopping – adding it really became inconvenient for constituents.

Manager Mike Archinal commented during the meeting that it was an amicable process. He said although it basically just involved cleaning up the language, it was very cumbersome and took some time. The agreement was approved by the Brighton City Council August 6th and approved by the Genoa Township Board at their meeting this past Monday.