Deep Detroit water department cuts announced - Fox 2 News Headlines

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.

  • Maurielle LueMaurielle LueMore>>

  • Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Attorney wants investigation of city clerk over Arab-American voter suppression

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:43:20 GMT
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
    It is the tale of two cities. one paints a picture of a meticulous Dearborn Heights city clerk, following the law and fighting for a fair election. The other a story of abuse of power, mishandled ballots and voter suppression.Fatima Abdrabboh is an attorney and Michigan's director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee the largest chapter in the country. She is calling for a full-scale investigation into claims that Walter Prusiewicz mishandled ballots from Arab-American voters fo...
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

  • Marygrove College president wants to help child immigrants

    Marygrove College president wants to help child immigrants

    Thursday, July 17 2014 7:37 PM EDT2014-07-17 23:37:56 GMT
    The immigration crisis at the border continues to make its way to Michigan. Now, the president of Marygrove College says he wants to provide resources to help child immigrants from Central America.
    The immigration crisis at the border continues to make its way to Michigan. Now, the president of Marygrove College says he wants to provide resources to help child immigrants from Central America.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Rescue mission offers second chance to those who need it most

    Rescue mission offers second chance to those who need it most

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:47 PM EDT2014-08-01 22:47:11 GMT
    Mark Jones whips up a quick house salad with bacon, and he does it with pride.Not long ago -- he was homeless and living in a shelter. Now, thanks to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries -- he has big news to share."I just got hired in on the 21st," Jones said.A full time job cooking in the kitchen at Cornerstone Bistro in Highland Park. He completed a 12-week training program which includes passing the state certification exam. And the 48-year-old has plenty of specialties."I cook lasagne, gumb...
    Mark Jones whips up a quick house salad with bacon, and he does it with pride.Not long ago -- he was homeless and living in a shelter. Now, thanks to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries -- he has big news to share."I just got hired in on the 21st," Jones said.A full time job cooking in the kitchen at Cornerstone Bistro in Highland Park. He completed a 12-week training program which includes passing the state certification exam. And the 48-year-old has plenty of specialties."I cook lasagne, gumb...
  • Recycled car program helps those in need

    Recycled car program helps those in need

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-08-01 22:16:24 GMT
    "Life has been a struggle for me since I was little," said Debra Gregory. "(It) continues to be very hard." For years, abusive relationships and a string of domestic issues kept Gregory from owning her own car and moving forward. But today all that changed -- thanks to charitable organizations like 1-800 charity cars.Gregory was chosen by the charitable organization which works with the National Auto Body Council's Recycled Rides program to donate vehicles to those in need."I can go to the do...
    "Life has been a struggle for me since I was little," said Debra Gregory. "(It) continues to be very hard." For years, abusive relationships and a string of domestic issues kept Gregory from owning her own car and moving forward. But today all that changed -- thanks to charitable organizations like 1-800 charity cars.Gregory was chosen by the charitable organization which works with the National Auto Body Council's Recycled Rides program to donate vehicles to those in need."I can go to the do...
  • Undercover agents at murdered Armada teen's funeral

    Undercover agents at murdered Armada teen's funeral

    Friday, August 1 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-01 22:07:12 GMT
    A community, clad in pink, gathered Friday for the funeral of the murdered Armada teen, April Millsap.
    A community, clad in pink, gathered Friday for the funeral of the murdered Armada teen, April Millsap.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

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