DEARBORN– On August 7, voters will determine how to pay the remaining portion of the federally-mandated pollution control project known as the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project, which updated much of the city’s infrastructure, including sewers, water mains and neighborhood roads.
An additional $60 million in construction projects are required for the city to fully comply with the CSO permit issued by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The permit, based on the federal mandate, directs Dearborn to reduce pollution in the Rouge River.
More than 40 communities, including Dearborn, are in the Rouge River watershed. Many have been affected by the federal mandate to clean up the river.
More than $300 million worth of work on the massive infrastructure project in Dearborn already has been completed, or is underway, after voters approved a designated tax in 2004 to meet the federal mandate.
Along with addressing sanitary sewers to improve water quality, Dearborn leveraged the required funds to also replace roads, sidewalks and water mains, upgrading and enhancing neighborhoods throughout the city.
Voters have a choice about how to pay for the remaining $60 million in project costs.
If voters reject the property tax proposal on the Aug. 7 ballot, the $60 million cost would be funded instead through water bills and applied to all customers.
Every household will be affected by either the property tax or the water and sewer bill funding methods.
To compare the likely impact of each of the funding methods on your household, the city will offer an online calculator. Visit www.cityofdearborn.org after July 18 for details.