Sewer line repairs still have a long way to go

Hamtramck’s struggle to fix its ailing sewer system continues to inch forward.
The city council recently OK’d spending $4.9 million from the water department’s budget to begin the next phase of improvements.
While this action is needed and appreciated, Hamtramck still has a long way to go.
As in, multi-millions of dollars in improvements – a staggering sum that no one can say will ever be raised. The city is like many other older inner-city communities: we have a number of infrastructure issues that have long been neglected.
You can blame past city administrations and elected officials, but there was little they could have done because these repairs – to our streets and water and sewer lines – would have always cost huge sums of money. Few cities can afford it.
There is one group of folks we can squarely blame: Voters.
Back in the 1950s, Hamtramck voters were asked to adopt a special property tax millage to hook up to a sewer line running underneath Conant that would have solved most of our back-up issues when heavy rains can cause flooding.
But voters, for whatever reasons, rejected that opportunity.
Those who followed them have been paying for that missed opportunity. Many households have had to contend with cleaning out raw sewage from their basements – a task that is expensive and unpleasant.
There really is only one funding source left that the city can turn to: the federal government.
Hamtramck cannot afford these needed improvements, but the federal government diverts a lot of our tax revenue to funding a bloated military budget.
For a fraction of what we dump into the military, Hamtramck and many other cities could make the improvements that they need.
America needs to re-examine its priorities, and invest beck into itself.
Posted Oct. 2, 2020

6 Responses to Sewer line repairs still have a long way to go

  1. Nasr Hussain

    October 2, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy a large piece of land, dig a huge pond and redirect the overflow to it.

  2. Nasr Hussain

    October 9, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    A point to note is that all vacant properties and lots owners do not pay into these repairs and system maintenance as the rest of the residents do, while getting the full benefit of these infrastructure updates when their units are reoccupied.

    The city should bill them for their fair share as other cities do.

    No wonder the city is always short on money.

  3. Nasr Hussain

    October 10, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Another benefit is that this will encourage them to rent out the units and develop the lots instead of having them sitting there with no benefit to them and the city.

  4. Roadman

    October 12, 2020 at 2:08 am

    “Few cities can afford it………”

    The City of Ann Arbor had its underground sewer infrastructure maintained and repaired about ten years ago due to normal wear and tear at a cost of $55 million.

    No controversy and city finances were conserved for years so the foreseen work could be paid for.

    The City of Hamtramck should have been in a better situation than it is in – poor planning and other lack of due diligence.

  5. Resident

    October 12, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    @Roadman – this resident agrees with you that “poor planning and other lack of due diligence” seem to be the strength of Hamtramck City’s elected representatives both past and present. For example, charter amendments to eliminate Fire Department under the pretense of Public Safety Department.


  6. Resident

    October 12, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    @Nasr – If you attend City Council meeting, this resident hopes you talk about this. This should help reduce current water/sewer rate.


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