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Department of Public Works - Frequently Asked Questions

Road and Parking Questions
     What is the village's parking ban?
     How many miles of streets are in the village?
     How much equipment is used during the winter?
     How much salt does the DPW use each winter?

Water & Sewer Questions
     How do I get the water turned on in my new house?
     How do I get my water turned off for the winter?
     I'm building a new house. How do I get water/sewer service?
     Can I get my swimming pool filled? How much does it cost?
     What do all those codes on my water/sewer bill mean?
     When is my water/sewer bill due?
     Why is my water/sewer bill higher than my neighbor's bill?
     Why is the location of my water shut-off valve important?
     Is there a shut-off valve for the sewer?
     Who do I call if I have a sewer backup?
     What should I do when I move out?
     How many water wells does the village have?
     Where does the wastewater go?

Miscellaneous Questions
     Who is in charge of the DPW?
     What does the DPW do?
     How many employees does the DPW have?
     Does the village DPW pick up brush?
     Does the village DPW pick up household trash?

What is the village's parking ban?
There is no parking between 3:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. in village streets. Overnight parking is only allowed in the marked spaces at the south end of the Riverview Parking Lot off Bridge Lane. Violators will be ticketed and towed. (Back to top.)

How many miles of streets are in the village?
There are 9.75 of streets inside Bellaire; 2.58 miles of major streets and 7.17 miles of local streets. There are also approximately 2 miles of alleys. (Back to top.)

How much equipment is used during the winter?
The Village has three under body blade trucks, one side plow, two front plow pick up trucks, one loader w/bucket and blade and one sidewalk tractor. (Back to top.)

How much salt does the village use each winter?
Depending on the weather, the DPW puts down approximately 250 tons of salt each year. (Back to top.)

How do I get the water turned on in the house I just bought/rented?
Just call the village offices at 533-8213. If the water was turned off, you (or someone that represents you) needs to be present when the water was turned off. This prevents any serious damage to the house in case any pipes broke while the water was off. If the water is still on, please call the village offices (533-8213) to have the billing name changed. (Back to top.)

How do I get my water turned off for the winter?
Call the village offices at 533-8213 with the date you'd like your service turned off. (Back to top.)

I'm building a new house. How do I get water/sewer service?
Contact the village offices (533-8213) to fill out a form for new service. The sewer connection fee is $1492.00 for a standard 3/4" line and the water connection fee is $1313.00 for a standard 3/4" line.. For more information regarding fees, please see Resolution No. 17 of 2016. The DPW must inspect the taps. (Back to top.)

Can I get my swimming pool filled? How much does it cost?
Yes, you can fill your pool from a village hydrant by contacting the village offices (533-8213). The connection fee is $20 and you'll be charged for the water at the regular rate of $2.36 per thousand gallons.

If you are filling your pool with your garden hose, call the village offices (533-8213) with the approximate amount of water used, and a deduction will be made to the sewer portion of your bill. (Back to top.)

What do all those codes on my water/sewer bill mean?
PB Previous Balance -- Amounts from a previous bill that haven't been paid.

10  Water Residential -- This amount changes depending on how much water is used. Current rates are $2.36 per 1000 gallons. On your bill, there is a "usage" column. If usage is a "2" for Water Residential (Code 10), your household used approximately 2000 gallons in that billing period. Meters are read on the 15th of each month and the electronic meter reader only reads in the thousands of gallons.

13  Water Ready -- This is a "Ready to Serve" fee. It's a flat fee that is charged every month. For most homes the fee is currently $11.91. This fee helps offset the costs of bringing clean, safe water to your home.

50  Sewer Residential -- This amount depends on how much sewage your household sends to the sanitary sewer system to be treated. It's based on how much water is used. Current rates are $3.86 per 1000 gallons. On your bill, there is a "usage" column. If usage is a "1" for Sewer Residential (Code 50), your household used approximately 1000 gallons in that billing period.

53  Sewer Ready -- This is another "Ready to Serve" fee, and is another flat fee charged every month. For most homes, the fee is currently $25.49. This fee helps pay for the costs involved in running the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

56  Sludge Removal – The amount charged for sludge removal depends on how much sewage is sent to the sanitary sewer system. Current rates are $1.50 per 1000 gallons. On your bill, there is a "usage" column. If usage is a "1" for Sludge Removal (Code 56), your household sent approximately 1000 gallons to the system in that billing period.

This fee pays for the removal of sludge from the sewage lagoons. Sludge is particulate matter that drops to the bottom of the lagoons. It accumulates slowly but steadily, and needs to be cleaned out roughly every 10 years. Sludge is removed by an outside contractor and in 2007 the removal cost almost $180,000.

15  One Percent Water – This fee pays for the costs of state compliance. It pays for regular water testing and permitting fees. The 1% Water fee is based on usage. For example, if your usage shows as "1" the 1% fee will be $0.03. This is because 1% of $2.36 (the fee for 1000 gallons of water) is $0.0236 and rounds up to 3 cents.

55  One Percent Sewer – This fee pays for the costs of state compliance. It pays for permitting fees and frequent testing. The 1% Sewer fee is based on usage. For example, if your usage shows as "1" the 1% fee will be $0.04. This is because 1% of $3.86 (the fee for 1000 gallons of sewage) is $0.0386 and rounds up to 4 cents.

80  On / Off Charges – If your service is turned off and on for the season, or for repairs, the charge will show up here.

90  Penalty – late fee penalties. If your payment is past due, a penalty of 5% of the entire bill will be added to your account.

[No code]  Water Replacement – This is a flat fee that goes into a separate account for the repair and replacement of water mains throughout the village. For most homes, this fee is $1.19. (Back to top.)

When is my water/sewer bill due?
Water/sewer bills are due on the 10th of each month. Bills are generally mailed on the 20th and are due by the 10th of the following month. For example, a water/sewer bill mailed April 20th covers the period from March 15th to April 15th and is due by May 10th.

If the bill is not paid by the due date, a 5% penalty will be added. Bills that are 30 days past due are sent a shutoff notice and the water is turned off on the 10th of the following month. A $30.00 fee will be assessed when turn off occurs.. Once your service is shutoff for non-payment, the account must be paid in full before the water can be turned on. (See Resolution No. 17 of 2016, Miscellaneous Fees 5.) (Back to top.)

Why is my water/sewer bill higher than my neighbor's bill?
Each bill is based on actual usage, and every family uses water differently. You cannot base your bill on your neighbor's. If you have questions about your usage, contact the village offices and we will try to answer your questions. (Back to top.)

Why is the location of my water shut-off valve important?
The property owner's responsibility for the water line begins at the water shut- off valve. (Back to top.)

Is there a shut-off valve for the sewer?
No. Therefore, the homeowner's responsibility for the sewer line is all the way to the sewer main, which is usually in the center of the street. (Back to top.)

Who do I call if I have a sewer backup?
During regular business hours (M-F, 8-4 PM), call the village offices at 533-8213. A DPW employee will check for backups in the sanitary sewer main by the road.

If the village's sanitary sewer main has a blockage, the DPW will clear the path. If the village's main line is not blocked, you'll need to call a plumber. Residents are responsible for the sanitary sewer lateral from their home to the Village's main line, of which is usually located in the center of the street.

If you have a sewer backup after business hours, contact the Bellaire Police Department and they will contact the DPW. If you cannot reach the police, contact the Antrim County Sheriff's Department. (Back to top.)

What should I do when I move out?
Contact the village offices (533-8213) to arrange for the DPW to get an actual water reading. At the next billing period you will receive a bill for the actual amount you owe. The bill will then be put into the new owner’s name.

If we are not notified, the bill continues in your name and there is no way to tell which portion of the bill belongs to you and which portion should go to the new homeowner. The new owner also needs to contact us to change the billing information. (Back to top.)

How many water wells does the village have?
There are four wells that supply water to the Village of Bellaire. (Back to top.)

Where does the wastewater go?
All wastewater goes to a final lift station at 501 Court St.  It then travels to the lagoons and treatment plant for treatment. (Back to top.)

Who is in charge of the DPW?
Ken Stead is the supervisor of the Department of Public Works. He can be contacted at 533-6414 or by email.

What does the DPW do?
The Department of Public Works is responsible for the maintenance of village property. This includes road construction, road maintenance, sidewalk construction and maintenance, plowing and snow removal. The DPW operates the village's water system and wastewater treatment plant and also maintains the village parks.

How many employees does the DPW have?
Five full-time employees and one part-time cemetery maintenance worker. The Department of Public Works Supervisor directs the efforts of four employees.  Two work primarily for the water department and motor pool, and one splits his time between water and sewer and motor pool, and the final full-time employee is the Wastewater Supervisor.(Back to top.)

Does the village DPW pick up brush?
No, but a drop off location is provided for village residents. Please see the Yard Waste page. (Back to top.)

Does the village DPW pick up household trash?
No. The Village has no public trash service. You must contract with a private waste hauler. (Back to top.)

 

Village of Bellaire
202 N. Bridge St.
P.O. Box 557
Bellaire, MI 49615
231-533-8213
231-533-4183 fax
Email us

Hours:
M - F from 8 to 4

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