Open Letter from Bruce Brown
July 26th, 2012
I rarely use my blog to publish someone else’s words. But here is a open letter from Port Huron City Manager Bruce Brown that WGRT found interesting.
July 25th, 2012
I am very disappointed by the public comments being made by Fort Gratiot Township Supervisor Doug Hannan concerning the quality of water provided by the City of Port Huron.
Mr. Hannan has apparently elected to create doubt and anxiety for water users in the Port Huron system.
Mr. Hannan contends that Port Huron water, taken from the St. Clair River, is unsafe for human consumption and contains disease causing agents and other unhealthy contaminants whereas the water provided by the Detroit Water System, taken from Lake Huron, is “the best water in the World.” What he fails to mention is that both systems are subject to exactly the same standards of quality. In fact, in a recent “2011 Water Quality Report” distributed by him and his Board to the citizens of Fort Gratiot Township, he indicated that “test results show your drinking water meets all Federal and State standards of quality.” If he didn’t believe that to be the case, why would he allow his constituents to drink it? Later in the report, he advises that “the Port Huron Water Plant staff works around the clock to provide quality water,” and then included a detailed technical analysis to prove his point.
Mr. Hannan’s long-standing objection to taking responsibility for paying for the water distribution and treatment system to the Township is also curious. He contends that a 6% increase in water rates by the City of Port Huron actually results in a 9% water rate increase to the Township. He is mistaken. A 6% water rate increase is a 6% water rate increase. If he chooses to charge the Township residents the equivalent of a 9% increase, so be it. But to try to shift the blame for that decision to the City of Port Huron is reckless and irresponsible. By the way, every governmental unit that has received water from the City of Port Huron that was financed by public bonds were aware of the fact that the bond holders required that they be repaid from revenues produced by the system itself. A 6% water rate increase is necessary to meet that legal obligation and can’t be simply ignored by the parties.
Mr. Hannan seems to believe that the Detroit Water System is the answer for Fort Gratiot Township. He has conveniently ignored the projected cost of over $5 million to retrofit the Township water system to receive water from Detroit. His belief is that all the Township needs to do to make the change is install a couple of miles of water line and they’re set to go. I would challenge Mr. Hannan to produce a report prepared by a competent professional engineer to support that statement. He has also conveniently omitted the fact that Burtchville (the only community in the area served by the Detroit system) is currently paying higher water rates that those charged to Fort Gratiot Township by the City of Port Huron.
The City of Port Huron takes a great deal of satisfaction and pride in providing high quality water at a reasonable price to its user communities. Any attempt to politicize and impugn the integrity and importance of this wonderful and necessary natural resource is shameful.