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