Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Ugh. Bad budget news for Detroit Previous Next
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Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 519
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 8:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So on top of a $96-million budget deficit, now the city has to come up with $24 million to repay residents of metro Detroit? Yeeeeeee-ikes. Goodbye bulk pickup again? And so much for hiring more cops. I am not saying that I disagree with the ruling, despite how much it sucks. I'm just saying that this is a big setback for the city's turnaround.

http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.d ll/article?AID=/20070323/UPDAT E/703230471/1003

Federal judge orders break for Detroit water customers after they were billed $24 million for part of radio system

Robert Snell / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Water and sewer customers in 126 communities could see smaller bills after a federal judge Friday said Detroit charged $24 million too much for a controversial $131 million digital radio system.

The decision came three months after U.S. District Judge John Feikens determined that Detroit's water customers were charged too much for the radio system. Suburban customers, who make up the bulk of Detroit's water and sewer customers, could see the biggest benefit if rates are lowered.

Feikens ordered attorneys to attend an April 11 hearing to decide how that money will be repaid.

One possible outcome is customers could see steadier rate increases instead of hikes that fluctuate wildly each year. Last week, Detroit City Council approved a 7.4 percent increase for city residents and a 3.8 increase for suburban customers.

"I would say it's a favorable outcome for suburban ratepayers," said Kurt Heise, director of Wayne County's environment department. "There will be a burden on Detroit. How they can even find the money? This is a city already in serious financial trouble. I certainly don't envy the position they've been put in."

It was unclear whether Detroit, which faces an approximately $100 million deficit, would appeal the order.

The Detroit News reported 20 months ago that the largely suburban-funded Detroit Water and Sewerage Department would pay about $38.8 million --a third of the system's cost --for a dispatch and communication system that relies on radios primarily used by Detroit police and firefighters.

In a separate order Friday, Feikens said Macomb County alone will pay for a $53 million fix of a sewer interceptor that collapsed three years ago in Sterling Heights on 15 Mile Road.

Macomb officials sued the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in July 2005 in a bid to spread the bill system-wide.

"I'm disappointed," Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Tony Morocco said, adding they might appeal.
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Gannon
Member
Username: Gannon

Post Number: 8746
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NO follow up on the actual system that was overcharged?

Does anyone have the back-story on this lawsuit? This is the first I ever heard of it.


I hope this isn't a 'friendly' company contract...if this company is tied to Kwame or his parents I will have to open my window and scream "I'm mad as hell and I won't put up with this any longer!"

His dad was with the McNamara regime for a l-o-n-g time and has been near enough corruption to encourage my guilt-by-association rants, but is very slippery...they are very good at covering their tracks.

Fuckers, shaking my head in quiet anticipation of the follow-up. Low expectations.
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Granmontrules
Member
Username: Granmontrules

Post Number: 53
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gannon - So last week the mayor was a hero by the press and most of the citizens of the city. Now tonight you are linking him to radios? What a stupid comment - are you drinking? The article didn't even link the mayor to this in the slightest of ways. Get over it. So we can move on.
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Jeduncan
Member
Username: Jeduncan

Post Number: 82
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

shit... I think the suburban customers should be seeing a higher hike, not the city dwellers.
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Rhymeswithrawk
Member
Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 524
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 23, 2007 - 11:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The long and short of it:
The $120-million radio system links all city departments. The city charged $38 million of that to the water department even though the department got only 10% of the radios.
Well, the water department is funded mostly by suburban water and sewerage rates, so that means suburbanites were charged for radios the city police and fire departments were using.
That's why Oakland County sued.
Now, Detroit charged its own residents for through the water bills, too, not just the suburbs. There's just more of them than us, so suburbanites paid more.
Like I said, this is a pretty shut and closed case. I can't see the city winning this appeal.
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Eric
Member
Username: Eric

Post Number: 723
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 24, 2007 - 12:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You forgot that the service area goes as far north as Flint. The radio system had to upgraded far outside the city borders.

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