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>>

  • Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Family's home hit hard by storms for second time

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:51:07 GMT
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
    For Ericka Page, first came the flood, then the gas line break and Tuesday, the massive tree limb that broke off with part of it landing on her house.
  • Ronald Ilitch arrested with drugs, prostitute

    Ronald Ilitch arrested with drugs, prostitute

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:24 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:24:27 GMT
    Ronald Ilitch was arrested for possession of drugs after being found with a prostitute Wednesday afternoon, according to Detroit Police Department sources.
    Ronald Ilitch was arrested for possession of drugs after being found with a prostitute Wednesday afternoon, according to Detroit Police Department sources.
  • Student sues Monroe schools for sexual harassment, bullying by teacher

    Student sues Monroe schools for sexual harassment, bullying by teacher

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:06 PM EDT2014-08-28 00:06:20 GMT
    A lawsuit from a Monroe honor student alleges sexual harassment, retaliation and bullying from a teacher and says the school district did nothing about it.
    A lawsuit from a Monroe honor student alleges sexual harassment, retaliation and bullying from a teacher and says the school district did nothing about it.
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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices