By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Wyandotte Municipal Services cable and electricity customers will see rate increases in coming months.
The increases, approved at Monday’s council meeting, include a monthly $4.98 hike for Internet service and a monthly $5.15 bump to expanded basic cable services.
Electric prices are also set to increase 3.38 percent for residential customers. A $1.32 increase for renewable energy also is to be added, with the total increase monthly coming to about $2.95 for the average residential customer.
Rates for some businesses are declining or staying the same, WMS Assistant General Manager James French said, as in the past, businesses have paid higher rates to keep residential rates low. Cable and electric increases are to go into effect Oct. 1.
“We’re restructuring the rate design to better reflect the cost of each different rate class,” French said. “The past couple of rate increases, they’ve been across the board to all rate classes.”
The new rates also fall in line with DTE Energy’s similar “deskewing” of residential rates and provide operating revenue, French said.
WMS General Manager Melanie McCoy attributed the cable increases primarily to rising programming costs, which have jumped 9.77 percent annually over the last seven years.
Council members agreed to the raised rates, but Councilwoman Sheri Sutherby Fricke voiced the need for further cuts for the department to keep rates low. She said the council intends to look into possible cuts in the department after this year’s budget is adopted in October.
“Without them, it’s going to get tougher and tougher every time you come to the podium,” she told McCoy.