Warren Mayor asks Bing for meeting on DWSD

Dec 22, 2010

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts says he wants to meet with his Detroit counterpart to discuss how the region’s water and sewer system is managed.

The request comes in a letter sent today, days after a federal indictment detailed allegations of kickbacks and corruption related to water department contracts.

Right now the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is overseen by a seven-member board, all appointed by Detroit’s mayor. Fouts says there’s something wrong with that:

"You have four million rate payers and less than a million of them are from the monopoly, then something needs to change. It’s called democracy," he said.

The Justice Department has identified 13 scams in which water department contracts worth tens of millions of dollars were allegedly steered to a friend of Detroit’s former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick.

Legislation is expected to be introduced early next year that would create a regional authority to oversee the department.

A spokesman said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has no comment on Fouts’ request for a meeting.