“They raise the water rates saying we need to fix the dangerous water pipes, then they take the money out of the water fund to pay for other projects, then they raise the rates again saying there’s not enough money in the water fund. Meanwhile, we don’t even have a line item in the budget for water pipe repairs. What’s going on?”
This statement is from a source that wished to remain anonymous, and their sentiment has been shared by many MLive readers over the past several months.
Mayor Maxwell presented these failing water pipes to the City Council, last October.
Add to this the report from last September’s City Council meeting where Mayor Maxwell said, “The water line problems below Maple and Speer Streets, where galvanized water lines run under the street, and constantly have to be repaired. Overlaying these two streets will soon have to be patched, whenever the next leak occurs…” Mayor Maxwell told the council that these lines need to be replaced, instead of making repairs to the lines and the streets, over and over. “The water lines need to be moved to the side of the streets, then do the overlay.”
The city has recently received easements from the property owners, and ordered pipe to begin this project. This means we’ve got “shovel ready” needs, and money being spent elsewhere.
Questions have been raised concerning all aspects of the water fund budget, including where the money is going that’s transferred from it, if it is legal for it to be transferred at all, and if replacing water pipes is just a falsely given reason to raise rates further.