Thursday, April 10, 2014

Oakland County to Study (Again) Alternatives to Remaining with DWSD

Oakland County is reportedly set to spend $500,000 to $3 million for a study of alternatives to remaining with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Crain's Detroit Business published a story here, and the Detroit News reported a similar story here.
Reading these stories reminded me that in April, 2007, Oakland County committed $125,000 to study alternatives to DWSD for drinking water. The Oakland County Commission approved funding this study on April 26, 2007.  This was at the time that Genesee County was looking to form its own authority, the Karegnondi Water Authority, which is now a reality; construction of the first phase of a new intake pipeline began in 2013 and the KWA recently sold its first round of water bonds.  

So what became of the 2007 study of alternatives to DWSD?

I don't know if its the same study, but in 2007 the then Oakland County Drain Commissioner published an extensive, 5 volume "Water and Wastewater Master Plan" prepared by URS Engineers. Volume 4 of the Master Plan is a 125 page "Alternatives Analysis." The "alternatives" being being alternatives to DWSD. 

I haven't thoroughly studied this "Alternatives Analysis," but obviously Oakland County didn't join the Karegnondi Water Authority, and didn't leave DWSD in 2007.  If they're serious about doing so now, this report will offer some clues as to why they might (or why it didn't make sense to do so in 2007). 
But this report also begs the question - why spend upwards of $3 million to update a study that already exists? And if this isn't the report that cost $125,000 in 2007, where is that study?

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet on April 17, 2014, and the $3 million expenditure is on page 17 of their agenda here
For more about DWSD Update, click here.  

No comments: