Deep Detroit water department cuts announced - FOX 35 News Orlando

Deep Detroit water department cuts announced

Posted: Updated:
Dave Bing  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Dave Bing (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

"Job redesign will have us take roughly 257 job classifications and reduce it down to about 30," said Jim Fausone from the Detroit Water Board.

The first phase of those cuts will start over the next six months.  80 percent cuts to the Water and Sewer Department, outsourcing of non-core functions and investing in new technologies over the next five years.  That's more than a thousand pink slips.

In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Dave Bing and his staff emphasized with those who will certainly lose their jobs, but say these deep cuts are necessary.

"The model that we have in place today is just unsustainable.  The City Council since I've been there for three years has raised the rates almost ten percent for the last three years," said City Council President Pro-tem Gary Brown.

Once fully implemented, the cuts will save the city $149 million a year and make water rates more affordable for Detroit and suburban customers.

Bing stopped short of saying whether the water rates would still increase in the near future or when the savings will be passed on to you.

But John Riehl, president of AFSCME Local 207, says don't count on it.  Water and sewage workers are understaffed as it is.

"They're trying to dismantle our water department just like the financial stability agreement's designed to dismantle the City of Detroit," he said.

"I don't concur with that at all.  I think there are too many people that fight change, and status quo has got us where we are," said Bing.

"Since the water department will fail under [this] severe cut down on workers, then they'll use it as an excuse to say, 'Oh, we're violating the pollution rules again,' and then a judge can turn over to regional authority and totally separate it from the City of Detroit," Riehl remarked.  "City workers are very angry about this, and they have not heard the end of it."

Bing told us union busting is the last thing on his mind.  He said his only concern is the 750,000 residents in Detroit and making sure they have better city services.  He also said if this restructuring plan is successful, expect to see similar cuts across the board for other city departments.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:05:54 GMT
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices