Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DWSD Renews, Sweetens Water Supply Contract Offer to City of Flint (UPDATED)

Just two days after notifying the City of Flint that it would terminate its water supply contract in 2014, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department on Wednesday [April 24, 2013] renewed its efforts to keep Flint as a wholesale water customer. DWSD sent Flint a revised offer (here). DWSD is competing with the Karegnondi Water Authority, which Flint voted to join at the end of March. 

If it accepted DWSD's latest offer, the City of Flint would not only receive an immediate 45% reduction in the cost of water supply, but Flint could get "purchased capacity rights" of 40 MGD in DWSD's Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant. DWSD is also offering  representation on the Board of Water Commissioners ("DWSD is receptive to this concept and will pursue modification of the current governance structure to accommodate it.") 

DWSD is also proposing redundancy in its water supply to address a frequent criticism of present operations:
"Redundancy Solution - Emergency backup supply is provided to the Imlay pump station, with the associated standby charge. A second transmission water main from the Imlay CIty Pumping Station west to either the current connection at Baxter/Potter roads or to another location to be determined by Flint, as necessary to meet the full redundancy requirements specified is assumed for comparison purposes. To maximize Flint's interest in ownership, it is proposed that this line be constructed by Flint or KWA, and owned by Flint or KWA. 
Comment: I applaud DWSD's persistence in seeking a deal with the City of Flint. And while the Governor's Treasurer, Andy Dillon, approved Flint's decision to leave DWSD, I have to believe that when Governor Snyder met with DWSD, Flint and Genesee County officials in Detroit late last week, he urged cooperation.  With the Detroit Board of Water Commissioners already moving in the direction of a regional authority, there's probably no good reason not to make the table bigger and give Flint and Genesee County a seat.  

Note: You can read DWSD's latest offer online (here).  If you would like to read all of DWSD's latest to Flint's Emergency Manager, write me here and put "Flint Offer 2.0" in the subject line.  

Update (4/30): The Flint Journal is reporting (here) that Flint has decided to stick with its original decision to join leave DWSD and join the Karegnondi Water Authority. 

For more about DWSD Update, click here

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