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B’s Buzz: Macomb County fails to react timely to sink hole

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B’s Buzz: Macomb County fails to react timely to sink hole

Photo by Hannah Gartley

Photo by Hannah Gartley

Photo by Hannah Gartley

Photo by Hannah Gartley

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With declining infrastructure getting worse every year, Michigan is continuously decorated with orange barrels and construction projects, whether dealing with crumbling buildings and bridges or the pipelines underneath our feet.

As the holiday sinkhole approaches it’s one-year anniversary, our government is no closer to fixing what ails our very foundation – literally. Our tax money is being used incorrectly by the state and the people who pay for everything, the middle class, are paying the price.

The fact of the matter is this these repairs need to be redone and redone correctly. Pipelines need to be inspected properly to reassure sink holes will not happen again. Construction can cost a lot of money. When they break, there is a horrendous smell, not to mention all the harmful environmental effects.

According to Shawn D. Lewis’s The Detroit News article, ‘Sterling Heights: Macomb ignored sewer collapse warning,’ (Nov. 9, 2017), “‘We have uncovered powerful new evidence that four years before the sewer collapse, the county was warned there was severe corrosion, but the county ignored the dire warning and did not perform any inspections or repairs,’ I.W. Winsten of Honigman, an attorney for the city, during a Thursday press conference said. ‘That collapse never should have happened.’”

Winsten is spot on, stating the county had known about the issues ahead and they chose to ignore it. Choosing to ignore problems as big as these can be costly. The state has bigger issues to deal with. If proper inspection is done, then they can deal with the bigger issues like Flint which still does not have a clean water system to use.

According to Bill Laitner’s Detroit Free Press article, ‘Sterling Heights ramps up court fight over huge Fraser sinkhole costs’ (Nov. 9, 2017), “In a legal brief filed Thursday in Macomb Circuit Court, lawyers for Sterling Heights said the city’s lawsuit should be allowed to proceed because the collapse of the big sewer pipe on December 24, 2016 was no accident but instead was caused by the “gross negligence” of former Macomb County officials.”

It is good to see Sterling Heights is pushing a lawsuit on Macomb County for “gross negligence” towards the pipeline. Even when they had prior knowledge, it is sickening to think the local government would not do anything to help end this. It is a matter of proper communication and establishing more proper priorities.

Laitner also states, “The city’s lawsuit pegged the repair cost at $70 million, although an additional $5 million is being covered by state grants, a spokesman for Miller said Thursday. The last stage of repair work, in the sinkhole’s vicinity of 15 Mile and Hayes, is road paving that is to be complete by early December, said the spokesman.”

These costs continue to sky rocket as the state debt continues to build up. It is good that the sinkhole is going to be closed but there is still no excuse for why this could not have been prevented. This could have easily been avoided if the local government had paid more attention and go by protocol to help prevent the pipeline from ever breaking.

Macomb County needs some major surgery before the county sinks… literally.

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B’s Buzz: Macomb County fails to react timely to sink hole