The cure for abating repeated flooding? Money

The talk of the town this past week focused, of course, on Friday’s massive flooding in Hamtramck and the metro area.
Many households here reported flood damage, and many questioned just what the city is planning to do about it.
More to the point: residents are complaining about the city not doing anything.
The sad truth is, there is not much the city can do.
Several years ago, over 100 residents filed a lawsuit regarding a basement flooding.
The court ruled that the city has to start taking measures to correct the city’s aging sewer system.
Back in the 1950s, voters here were given a chance to connect with a massive sewer line on Conant, but since it required paying a special tax, they turned that down.
Hamtramckans have been paying the price ever since.
A few years ago, the city received over $3 million in federal funding to take the first step in upgrading the city’s sewer lines.
There are several more phases to go through before this issue is resolved.
But guess what?
It will take millions of dollars that the city simply doesn’t have.
The last estimate to complete the upgrade was $40 million. With construction costs continuing to increase, it’s almost certainly much more now.
It might as well be a billion dollars, because the city does not have that kind of money.
Eventually, the city will be found in contempt of court for not completing the necessary repairs.
It’s easy to imagine, that the only remedy will be a special court-imposed tax to fund that project.
In other words, the same homeowners who started the lawsuit will end up paying, along with everyone else.
Ironic, eh?
Posted July 2, 2021

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