At the May 26, 2015 Oakland Township Board meeting, Supervisor Gonser announced that he planned two public meetings for citizens impacted by the water supply systems that are being considered for two sections in Oakland Township. One section is in the Southwest portion of the Township, and the other is in the Southeast portion of the Township. Gonser announced the meetings would occur on June 18, 2015. Treasurer Langlois thought the meetings were premature, and was opposed to having the meetings. Trustee Giannangeli indicated that Detroit Water is still under consideration by the Township. This option could result in water tap fees for the impacted citizens. It was recently posted on the Township website that the meetings have been postponed.
During the May 26th meeting, Supervisor Gonser announced that:
- high water towers are not being considered,
- the ground water storage tanks will not be installed on parkland, and
- Oakland Hunt would not be a subdivision included in the Southeast water district.
Gonser went on to say that there are two aspects to the water supply system issue. Engineering issues are one. He wanted to present this information at the June 18th meeting. The other aspect is the legal, or operational, issues associated with the systems.
He indicated there are three legal options under consideration for the management and operation of the water supply facilities. The three options are:
- continue as-is, but with the Township agreeing to a PA342 agreement with the County, where the Township would be responsible for part of the bonding of the system,
- have the Township form a Department of Public Works Department and take over the operation of the system, or
- contract with an outside company to have them maintain and operate the system.
Trustee Giannangeli also commented that Detroit City Water is still an option.
Treasurer Langlois commented that the June 18th meeting was premature since she felt the legal/operational matters needed to be understood before going back to the citizens.
After the May 26th meeting, the Township website posted that Gonser’s announced June 18th meetings have been postponed.
Here is a map showing the proposed water system districts in Oakland Township (click on map to view larger version):
Here is a link to a copy of a summary of the February 9, 2015 meeting held on this topic:
Here is a video of the discussions at the May 26th meeting:
Here are previously reported posts related to this topic.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Trustee Giannangeli’s comment raises an issue regarding potential costs to the residents impacted in the two water district sections of the Township. The Board had previously decided that Oakland Township would not use Detroit Water, and as a result refunded several million dollars in water tap fees to (primarily) developers who paid for future connects to the Detroit water system. Since that money was returned to (primarily) developers, if the Township now decides to have Detroit water, the private homeowners impacted may have to pay a water tap fee. Some of those homeowners may have understood that any future water tap fee to the Detroit system was already included in the purchase price of their home. They may now be faced with paying for it a second time.
It appears Treasurer Langlois, who is a member of the water system subcommittee (along with Giannangeli and Gonser), was surprised that the June 18th meeting was being announced. Gonser’s decision to announce the meeting is yet another example of him overstepping his authority and making a decision without subcommittee and Board approval.