A few weeks ago, we reported that the Water Department has a $11 million budget surplus.
That’s a lot of money.
We asked what that money will be used for, and we were directed by the city administration to refer to an audit report. The report said that the money will be used to make sure there is funding in place so that the department continues to operate.
And, the report said, the money will be used to make repairs to the water infrastructure.
We have another suggestion on how to spend the surplus.
Pay back those homeowners who were socked with a $4,600 bill to fix the sink holes behind their house in the alley.
Six years ago, a new DPW superintendent, who is long gone, decided to enforce an obscure city ordinance requiring homeowners to foot the bill for repairs if their line had broken and leaked and caused the sinkhole.
For years the city was paying for those repairs, but out of nowhere this new DPW superintendent decided the city could no longer afford that.
In the meantime, the city’s water department now has an $11 million budget surplus.
We think the city can, indeed, afford these repairs. On the other hand, most homeowners cannot.
In fact, it has been widely reported from various media outlets that 40 percent of Americans can’t afford an emergency $400 bill. And consider this, most Hamtramckans are living at, or near, poverty level.
Many are retired, and living on fixed incomes.
Going forward, it is only fair for the city pick up the cost of these repairs.
They can also afford to pay back those homeowners who were the victim of a whim by a former DPW superintendent – one who, like so many others, came here for a brief time, and then moved on to a better job.
Posted April 17, 2020