Stop holding area water-sewer users hostage

When will it end?

At what cost can we taxpayers of the City of Alpena and Alpena Township continue to fund this never-ending dispute? According to The Alpena News, a total of $725,000 have been expended so far on the lawsuit by the City of Alpena and $830,000 by the residents of Alpena Township. For a combined total cost of about $1.55 million and an estimate of about 18,700 residents in the combined municipalities, this breaks down to a cost of about $83 per person.

What could we do with an additional $1.55 million dedicated to our combined water/sewage system in our area? For one, the city has recently identified that it needs new clear water wells, for which they are pitching an $800,000 to $1.2 million match for a grant to obtain the needed $4 million to $6 million in construction costs. Or perhaps the monies from the recently approved 5% rate hike in the city, which is anticipated to generate about $1.5 million, could stay in the pockets of the residents who could choose where to spend their hard-earned dollars.

This dispute has been going on since about 2014. It is time for both entities to come to the table and draw this dispute to a conclusion. How is it that two neighboring communities, who should be partners in economic and social development in the area, cannot agree on this matter? There must be a reasonable solution to this problem upon which both entities can agree. Holding users of this essential service hostage for the inability of the two parties to settle is not the answer!




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