City officials may have opened a bigger can of worms

You have to hand it to city officials for having the courage to stand up to Detroit.

Last week, the City Council withheld payment to Detroit for water and sewer service. It’s a tit for tat situation since Detroit is withholding a $3 million payment that Hamtramck insists is owed.

The dispute is about a tax revenue sharing plan the two cities have regarding the GM Poletown plant. Detroit says it has overpaid Hamtramck, while Hamtramck says that is not true.

In the meantime, city officials have been forced to lay off city employees because the non-payment has crippled our budget.

One clever way to fight back while Detroit ponders the situation was to stop monthly payments on water and sewer service. It’s no small sum either. Hamtramck pays out $230,000 a month for the service.

That cost is staggering. It also makes one wonder how Detroit can possibly justify charging a little city like Hamtramck so much money. Other communities have challenged Detroit to make public how water and sewer rates are determined, but Detroit has refused.

It seems to us Hamtramck needs to join this challenge and force Detroit to come clean about how it runs its water department.

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