The Dearborn Heights City Council study session subject was the River Oaks Pond Restoration Project. This is a 20 year plus issue, which has remained unresolved. According to the civil engineers- Wade Trim, the blocked fountain, a natural spring, is blocked from sediment. The sediment comes from the run off, which is a tributary. The blockages create a stagnant pond, which is overgrown and mosquito infested. Wade Trim reports 50% of the subdivision and public roads contribute to the pond.
During Mayor Ruth Canfield’s term, the City of Dearborn Heights applied for a grant to fix the problem. At this point in history, by applying for a grant and attempt to resolve the issue, the City of Dearborn Heights acknowledges some responsibility, setting a precedent. This is the argument the Mayor and Corporate Attorney presents.
The City of Dearborn Heights has allocated and approved $250,000 in the water budget for this River Oaks Pond Restoration. This was done and continues to be included, in the water budget since 2014. I was the only no vote on this item..I publicly stated, in 2014, I did not feel it should be in the budget until verification and backup is presented confirming the tributary and liability on behalf of the City of Dearborn Heights by the engineering firm. Currently, the City Council did authorize Wade Trim $40,000 to complete a study and bring forward information. This is ongoing.
My questions remain, on will be based on the Wade Trim findings, how is the City of Dearborn Heights a tributary? What percentage ? How was this determined? What liability does Wayne County have as a tributary, i.e. Evergreen contributing forces? Contribute to the fix costs? Ford Road is a State road. Does is contribute? How much? Are they liable and contribute to cost of the fix?
In the meantime, the current directive is for the River Oaks Neighborhood Association to complete the petition survey on the Special Assessment. The total project is estimated at $400,000. River Oaks would need a Special Assessment for $150,000. They must initiate public hearings , necessity, and assessment, to proceed. In addition, River Oaks would be liable for all future maintenance moving forward and must prepare a sustainable action plan. That is the responsibility of the River Oaks Neighborhood Association, not the City of Dearborn Heights.
In closing, please feel free to contact me for further assistance at (313) 348-9848.
Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman