Department of Public Works - Frequently Asked Questions
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? Will the Village DPW replace a mailbox damaged during plowing?
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) need to be present when the water is turned on. 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.
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.
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. 21 of 2020. The DPW must inspect the taps.
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 $4.29 per thousand gallons. If you are filling your pool with your garden hose, call the Village offices (533-8213) prior to filling your pool with the approximate amount of water used, and a deduction will be made to the sewer portion of your bill.
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 $4.29 per 1,000 gallons. On your bill, there is a "usage" column. If usage is a "2" for Water Residential (Code 10), your household used approximately 2,000 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 $16.95. 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 $4.10 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 1,000 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 $26.82. 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 1,000 gallons. On your bill, there is a "usage" column. If usage is a "1" for Sludge Removal (Code 56), your household sent approximately 1,000 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 2017 the removal cost was $182,236.60.15 - 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 $0.04. This is because 1% of $4.29 (the fee for 1,000 gallons of water) is $0.0429 and rounds to 4 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 $4.10 (the fee for 1,000 gallons of sewage) is $0.0410 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.
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 11th 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. 21 of 2020, Miscellaneous Fees 5).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How many water wells does the village have?There are four wells that supply water to the Village of Bellaire.
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. Who is in charge of the DPW?Bradley Keiser is the Director 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 Director supervises 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. Does the village DPW pick up brush?No, but a drop off location is provided for Village residents. Please see the Yard Waste page.
Does the village DPW pick up household trash?No. The Village has no public trash service. You must contract with a private waste hauler.
Police Department - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the Police Department's contact information?In case of emergency, call 911. The office phone number is 231-533-5678, the police fax is 231-533-8753; or use this email address. Bellaire Police Department offices are located in the the lower level of the Community Hall at 202 North Bridge Street. For more information, go to the Police Department's page.
What are your normal business hours?Office hours for the Bellaire Police Department are based on a rotating schedule. We try and have an officer available from 8a-4p on most weekdays, which is consistent with the hours of the village government. The Bellaire Police Department will usually have 16 hours of coverage per day.
I received a parking ticket. What happens if I don't take care of it?After the receipt of any ticket, an individual has 10 days to take care of the ticket through the District Court. Parking ticket prices vary as do most other fines for traffic offenses. If not handled within the 10 day period, the court can suspend an individual’s drivers license through the Secretary of State.
I need to have my fingerprints taken for employment purposes. Will the police department do this for me?The Bellaire Police Department no longer handles any fingerprinting for volunteer or employment purposes. The Antrim County Sheriff's Office will handle all fingerprinting with respect to employment and volunteering. The State of Michigan now requires fingerprints to be done by "livescan." Livescan is a digital fingerprint machine, and the Sheriff's office is the only place in Antrim County that has one. The State of Michigan charges a fee for the use of the livescan (approximately $70).
Will the police department help me if I lock my keys in my car?The Bellaire Police Department is the only law enforcement agency in Antrim County that will help to unlock vehicles. As long as you sign a liability waiver, we will do our best to get you into your vehicle quickly. If we are unable to gain access to your vehicle, we will call a locksmith and have them respond to your location to gain access.
I had a traffic accident on the roadway; do I have to make a police report?Yes. The Michigan Department of Transportation keeps statistics on all accidents that occur on Michigan roadways. Make sure to report the accident before leaving the scene by calling 911. Additionally, most insurance companies require a police report before they will process an insurance claim.
I had an accident with my vehicle on private property. Do I need to report this?You are not required by law to report the accident, but most insurance companies will request that you have a police report before handling the claim.
I am considering hiring a new employee but would like to know if he/she has a criminal history. How can I find out this information?Local law enforcement can only run individuals criminal history through the investigation of a criminal complaint. Citizens can obtain criminal history information through the ICHAT website for a fee. This website is a government website that many schools and churches use to obtain information on their volunteers.
Occasionally I see Village officers outside the Village limits. Can they write me a ticket when they are outside the Village?Yes. Even though the Bellaire Police Department patrols the village and handles complaints within the village limits, all the village police officers are deputized by the Antrim County Sheriff’s Department. Our main focus is to patrol and protect the village and its residents, but on many occasions we will respond to complaints and suspicious situations outside the village.
We are leaving for vacation. Will the police department watch our home?Yes. We have an online form that if submitted will allow officers on both the day and evening shifts to monitor your home for any suspicious activity. Information regarding any guests, maintenance work, pets and vehicles left in the drive is useful to include. Feel free to call the office and talk with an officer as well.
We have a stray dog hanging around. Will the police pick it up?Yes and no. With any animal issues, whether it is barking dogs or animals running at large, we would prefer that you contact the Antrim County Animal Control. They are located in Bellaire, and maintain the animal shelter as well. The animal control officers are better equipped to handle dogs and cats than most police officers, and in most cases are familiar with problem animals. If animal control is not available, feel free to call for a police officer. We will try and catch any dog or cat and will then take them to the shelter.
Zoning - Frequently Asked Questions
What is zoning?How do I find out what my property is zoned?How do I know what my property can be used for?Can I change my property's zoning?Where can I find information on a property?Where can I find a copy of the zoning ordinance?How do I apply for a zoning permit?There are so many forms -- which one do I need to fill out?How do I apply for a building permit?What does the Planning Commission do?What does the Zoning Board of Appeals do?How are the Planning Commission & ZBA board members appointed?What does the Zoning Administrator do?What is a variance?Why did I receive a public hearing notice? Am I required to attend?How can I voice my opinion on an application if I am unable to attend the hearing?
What is zoning?Zoning is the public regulation of land use. Zoning is managed by a set of laws called the zoning ordinance. This ordinance defines zoning districts and creates regulations about the use, placement, spacing and size of lots and structures.
How do I find out what my property is zoned?If you can't determine your zoning from this zoning map, call the village's Zoning Administrator at 231-533-8213.
How do I know what my property can be used for?Once you know your property's zoning district, you can find the permitted uses in Article 4 of the village's zoning ordinance.
Can I change my property's zoning?If you would like to request a change in your property's zoning district, please contact the village's Zoning Administrator at 231-533-8213. After a complete application is submitted and approved by the Zoning Administrator, the Planning Commission is required to hold a public hearing. All property owners within 300 feet of the property will be notified of the rezoning request. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the Village Council regarding the approval of the rezoning request. Final approval is the responsibility of council. Please see the current fee schedule for the rezoning application fee.
Where can I find information on a property?The Antrim County website has information on all properties in the county. If you have an address, owner's name, or parcel number, the Parcel Search page could be useful. Otherwise, on the Map Index page, scroll down to see the green bar titled "Maps By Jurisdiction" in the right column and click on "Village of Bellaire."
Where can I find a copy of the zoning ordinance?The current zoning ordinance can be found online or a copy can be purchased at the village offices. Also, a copy of the zoning ordinance is available for viewing at the Bellaire Public Library.
How do I apply for a zoning permit?Complete the necessary form, sign, and return with the required fee to the village offices. The current fee schedule is available online or at the village offices.
There are so many forms -- which one do I need to fill out?Please contact the Zoning Administrator at the village offices or call 231-533-8213 (M-F, 8-4). You can also contact her via email.
How do I apply for a building permit?Building permits are issued by the Antrim County Construction Code Department; 231-533-8373.
What does the Planning Commission do?One of the primary roles of the Planning Commission is to create the village's master plan. They also review site plans, special use permits, land divisions, and many other zoning-related applications. Another job of the Planning Commission is to review the zoning ordinance on a regular basis and recommend any zoning amendments to the village council.
By law, the Planning Commission meetings must be open to the public. Any time a quorum of Planning Commissioners is gathered, the meeting becomes official and must be advertised and open to the public.
What does the Zoning Board of Appeals do?The ZBA fills a quasi-judicial function by hearing appeals, requests for interpretations and for dimensional and use variances.
How are the Planning Commission & ZBA board members appointed?Board members are appointed by the village council. If you could like to be considered for an appointment, please contact the village offices or a council member.
What does the Zoning Administrator do?The ZA provides applicants with forms, explains procedures, and helps guide them through the application process. They review applications and inspect sites for compliance. The ZA's primary role is to administer the zoning ordinance exactly as the ordinance was written.
What is a variance?When you get right down to it, a variance is a license to break the law, in this case the zoning ordinance. A variance is not intended to be easy to achieve. There are two types of variances: use and nonuse. Non-use is the most common, often involving setbacks. A use variance asks for a variance in how the land is used.
Variances are granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals. If you have more specific questions, please contact the Zoning Administrator at the village offices or call 231-533-8213 (M-F, 8-4). You can also contact her via email.
Why did I receive a public hearing notice? Am I required to attend?State of Michigan law requires that property owners within 300 of a special use permit application be notified of the application. Nearby property owners are also notified of rezoning and variance requests. Attendance at the special hearing is not required.
How can I voice my opinion on an application if I am unable to attend the hearing?If you are not able to appear in person, you can submit your written opinion to: Zoning Administrator, 202 N. Bridge St., PO Box 557, Bellaire, MI 49615. You can also submit an opinion by fax (231-533-4183) or via email. Comments must be in writing. Verbal comments about an application cannot be relayed to the Planning Commission.