Friday, January 31, 2014

Amended Plan Emerges for New Regional Water Authority, Emergency Manager Slashes Proposed Payments to City of Detroit

The Detroit News is reporting here today on a revised plan to convert DWSD into a regional water authority that would require dramatically lower payments to the City of Detroit and cede control of the governing board to the suburban customer base. 

Highlights of the leaked confidential proposal reportedly include: 
  • Payments to Detroit would be $47 million per year for 40 years -- $1.88 billion. This is a far cry from the $70 million per year, up to $9 billion in total, that the Emergency Manager originally floated in proposals with Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. 
  • Detroit would retain ownership of DWSD facilities, but operations and control would be transferred to a new nine-member board that would include two members each from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, two city appointees, and one member appointed by Governor Rick Snyder. 
  • The new authority would be called the "Great Lakes Water and Sewer Authority," rather than the "Metropolitan Area Water and Sewer Authority." 
  • Detroit would become a wholesale customer of the newly created authority.
Question: Is the new name of the proposed authority, "Great Lakes Water and Sewer Authority" -- which sounds more inclusive than "Metropolitan Area Water and Sewer Authority" -- meant to serve as an olive branch of sorts to the City of Flint and Genesee County? They left DWSD last year to start their own water authority and plan to spend $360 million or more just for the pipeline.  

If this plan is adopted, it will be interesting to see who Governor Snyder appoints as the ninth member of the Board. However, it doesn't make sense to appoint someone unless they're part of the customer base, right? 

What do you think? 

I'd like to hear your thoughts, either by online comment or privately

For more about DWSD Update, click here  


Anonymous said...

There seems to be huge problem regarding ""usage"" !. The issue of Inflow/Infiltration mucks up monitoring and metering, and a lot is simply ESTIMATED, guessed at, approximated. I'll back up those statements -
In addition the whole issue of UPGRADING the SCADA network for wireless radio monitoring needs to be done -

Anonymous said...

What will happen to the CURRENT borders of the regional sewage plan in place now { CS-1314 DWSD WasteWater MasterPlan } ? --