JUAN GANUM, representing Bridgman City, Vice Chairman
DAVID BUNTE, representing Chikaming Township -
JOHN GAST, representing Lake Charter Township
ROB ANDERSON, representing the City of New Buffalo
ROSE DUDIAK, representing New Buffalo Township

The board meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. in the meeting room at Chikaming Township Center at 13535 Red Arrow Highway, Harbert, Michigan.

Protect against winter water woes
One of things that the Water Department really does not like to do is call one of our customers and tell them that they have a leak and that their water bill is going to be several hundred dollars. Unfortunately, this happens every winter. If you are not going to be here during the cold winter months, you need to heat your home and have someone check it on a regular basis or have the water turned off and winterize the plumbing. Winter brings freezing storms that cause power outages which can result in pipes freezing and bursting. If the weather is so bad that our meter readers can't get out and we estimate your bill for those two months, we will not detect that leak until two months after that! This could result in major damage to your home and a very costly water bill. Just because your water is "turned off" doesn't' mean that you don't get a minimum billing.

"On-line" bill paying - MAKE SURE THEY ARE SENT TO P.O. BOX 40 IN HARBERT
Some of our water and sewer customers have started to use the computer to pay their utility bills. This can be a great way of doing your bookkeeping, but it can also become a nightmare. When entering the payee address, make sure that you use P.O. Box 40, Harbert, MI 49115. If sent to our street address, most times it is returned to the bank after bouncing around the Postal System and by then…you're delinquent. Please save all involved a lot of time and heartache and verify that you are sending your payment to the right address. Thank you.

Don't tamper with the meter pits
The water meters and meter pits are the property of Chikaming Township. Section 5 of Ordinance No. 71 states, " shall be unlawful for any unauthorized person to tamper with, disturb, adjust, turn off, turn on, remove, disassemble, destroy or damage any water shut off valve, water meter or any other appurtenance of said water system. Any person found in violation of the section of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 and/or imprisonment in the county jail for 90 days, or both."
The most common offense is someone other than an authorized Township employee turning the water on and off at the meter pit. This can lead to problems later on, and if the meter breaks, the property owner could be charged not only the $100 fine, but for the cost of the meter. It is illegal for your plumber to turn the water on and off at the meter pit and the property owner will be held liable. Another problem that has arisen recently is contractors running over meter pits and causing damage. Since the contractor is hired by the property owner, the property owner is liable for the damage.
To have your water turned on or off by the Township there is a $15.00 fee. Our meter readers will make note of all improper turning on or off of the water at the meter pits.

Don't put storm water in the sewers
As noted in Ordinance No. 34 ONLY toilets, sinks, indoor showers, clothes washers, dish washers and garbage disposals may be plumbed into the sanitary sewer. Sump pumps, eave down spouts, footing and floor drains MUST NOT be connected to the sewer system. The Ordinance further stipulates that penalties may be assessed for these "illegal" connections together with the requirement to reroute plumbing to dispose of rain and seepage water elsewhere.

Why am I getting a water and sewer bill when I haven't been there all winter?
The minimum monthly rates are the system's Ready to Serve Charge and you are billed every two months whether you use the utilities or not. Chikaming Township's water and sewer systems must be maintained daily so that it is ready to serve you when you need it. Please don't compare your charge here to your charge in the city. It's like comparing apples to watermelons. The water and sewer systems cost "X" to run and maintain. This cost is divided up amongst the number of units served by the systems. In the city you have many more units so the cost is less. It's the economy of numbers.