Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Counties Reluctant To Take Opaque Detroit Water Deal

Two articles show Oakland and Macomb Counties fail to be taken in by the latest Detroit offer regarding its Water and Sewer Department:

The Detroit Free Press: Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson on Detroit water deal: 'We're probably going to walk'

The Detroit News: Detroit water deal not close, Oakland County says

Since the opening demand from the city for the Counties to pay $200 million a year to lease the system from Detroit, their latest offer is now down to $47 million per year for 40 years. This seems less a reflection of its actual value than an admitted attempt by Detroit's EFM to get a steady flow of cash heading to the bankrupt city.

Unfortunate, the City and EFM have yet to provide the suburban counties current financials or reports on the state of the system. I expect lots of expensive differed maintenance will be revealed as the Water department since the days of Coleman Young has been run as a source of a slush fun and featherbedding for Democrat politicians in the city at the suburbs' expense. Think pig in a poke.

After all, the recent massive water line breaks causing two foot high floods on some main streets in Detroit hardly boost confidence in the state of the system.

Any suburban official crazy enough to enter into a lease on a system without knowledge of its current state and maintenance requirements would be insane. Oh, Wayne County Exec Ficano is all in favor of the deal, which certainly tells you something.

It tells you Oakland and Macomb County should run, not walk from this latest offer before they and their taxpayers get taken for a very expensive ride.

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