Advocacy Update

Written by Forrest Wall, CAE, Staff Vice President and Industry Relations

Water Billing Legislation Introduced

  • A Democratic effort in the Michigan Senate proposes significant water billing changes for local governments that own or operate a water or sewage system. Here are a few of the changes proposed under Senate Bill 271:
  • Municipalities must include on a bill the consumption in gallons (or provide a conversion factor) as well as the local water or sewerage rates for each component of the bill.
  • An option must be provided to customers to choose “levelized billing” which is a rolling average of customer water and sewerage use for the trailing 12 months.
  • Local government systems must eliminate fees based on the type of payment a customer makes or interest for past due bills.
  • Municipalities must adopt a dispute resolution process for a customer to dispute a bill. If the customer disputes a bill, the customer can withhold payment during the dispute, will not accrue interest during the dispute, and the municipality shall not turn off service during the dispute. Costs associated with one dispute per calendar year shall be borne by the municipality, with additional disputes to cost the customer 50% of the dispute resolution cost.
  • Requires municipal monitoring and notification for customer-side leaks.
  • Allows for civil remedies for municipal violation of the act.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Local Government Committee for consideration.

Take Advantage of AAM Resident Relations & Fair Housing Training

Over the years, AAM has provided member companies with many outstanding Fair Housing training seminars. Given the continued evolution of Fair Housing enforcement and changing points of emphasis, apartment owners and their employees need reliable and regular education. Please join us June 19th for our next Fair Housing program.
The fast paced workshop will cover site specific scenarios that your entire on site team faces every day. The presentations will include a Fair Housing overview, highlights of recent changes and a Q & A. Facilitators for the training are Kathleen Mabie of Success On Site and Matthew Paletz of Paletz Law.

The training will be held from 9 a.m. to Noon at Association offices in Bingham Farms. The cost is $69 per AAM or HBA member or $85 per guest.
Limited seating is available. Register early, online at www.apartments.org
or by calling 248-862-1004.

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