Flooding provides a lesson in need to pay for infrastructure

Monday’s mass flooding in the metro area proved one thing.
No matter how much money you spend to modernize your sewer system, Mother Nature still rules.
Despite the overwhelming force of Monday’s downpour in Hamtramck, the predictable cry over the city’s failure to update its sewer lines was heard. Once again, many households experienced flooding. Some critics argued that they pay plenty of taxes and extra fees and wonder where that money goes.
Others threatened to file a lawsuit. Several years ago a group of residents did successfully sue the city, but guess who paid their award?
You did, through a special court-ordered tax judgment.
But there could be relief in the future. The city is now in the process of seeking a state loan to begin a three-phase project to alleviate flooding. Ultimately it will cost upwards of $40 million.
There are a number of things that need to be done, but the biggest piece of the puzzle is tapping into a giant-sized sewer line that runs along Conant.
If residents feel the need to blame anyone for the ongoing flooding anytime it rains heavy, look no further than the people who lived here in the 1950s when they had a chance to connect with the Conant line.
Those folks voted on whether to approve a special tax to pay for it. Guess what? They rejected it.
We are all paying for this foolish mistake.
Yet, when it comes to funding capital improvements these days there are still many in this community who would rather keep their money and allow the infrastructure to rot away.
It comes down to this. If you want a city that functions correctly, you have to pay for it one way or another.


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