No More Water Reservoirs For Rochester Hills

After a five hour City Council meeting that had a few hundred extra citizens in attendance, the Rochester Hills City Council voted to suspend further conversation about building water reservoirs in the City.  This conversation started with the current council about a year and half ago, according to Councilman Vern Pixley. He states, “I was a supporter of the plan, the business model worked, the idea was solid, but at the end of the day the concern about the future of the Detroit Water Board and growing concern about site location was enough to shut it down.”  Pixley went on to explain that this issue has been on the City Council docket for over 20 years.  The problem is the high cost of city water purchased from Detroit.  The proposed solution was to pool the water in two different 3 million gallon tanks during off-peak hours in order to buy it at a reduced rate.  “The proposed payback was within seven years, ” Pixley went on to explain, “Then the tanks would have been paid for and lasted for 50 years, with a minimum savings of two million dollars a year to the city.”  When asked if he heard from his local residents about this matter, Pixley responded, “Oh yes, I had hundreds of e-mails and a few phone calls over this issue.  I believe about three of the e-mails were residents telling me this was a great idea and the rest were people concerned about the location in the city.”  When asked about the large attendance at Monday’s meeting, Pixley quickly responded, “Public opinion is always welcome, especially those who do it in a professional and appropriate way.”  It was reported that some people were chanting in the hallway of City Hall and that there were some who blamed the city for wasting time and money for even looking into this matter.  At the end of the evening, the crowd cheered when the council voted on the spot to suspend all further discussion of this issue.

Councilman Nathan Klomp issued the following statement after the meeting, “I knew this would be a tough process, but I welcomed it. I welcomed it because I thoroughly believed that there was a compelling enough case made initially to investigate the project further. As new information came to light, as resident concerns mounted and as the risk/reward trade-off for the project weakened, my doubt of the worthiness of the project grew…. To continue on this course in light of recent regional developments and the eroded business case presented a risk that I was not willing to take. At the end of the day, I’m proud of our staff, our council, and our residents for their heavy involvement in this process…. Going forward, I will continue to consider any and all options that present themselves as having the potential to save our residents money, improve our city, or further protect our valuable resources.”

Councilman Michael Webber said, “”Whether you are for or against water storage in Rochester Hills, everyone wants to see their water rates stabilize. This has been an important discussion for our community to undertake. In the end, the council decided to move away from a water storage project and move towards supporting Oakland County’s call for a Regional Authority to govern DWSD. I look forward to the debate on that issue.”

Councilman Vern Pixley concluded by saying, “I think we did the right thing, both in looking into this issue and in arriving at the decision that we did.”

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at info@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. Chuck Slattery says:

    It is really unbelievable that after all of our “public comments”, some council members do not get it. We want to keep our residential areas Residential and our parks as Parks! After all, that is the City’s mission statement and in the master Plan! Shame on them!

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