Some Walled Lake residents against new road project that could double their taxes

City: Fixing water infrastructure is paramount

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Kayla Clarke

WALLED LAKE, Mich. - A few neighborhoods in Walled Lake are battling City Hall to stop a proposed $4 million project that would give them new roads but, in some cases, double residents' taxes.

The roads are a disaster, but what's under the roads could be even more of an issue and repairs are vital.

A 50-year-old water main is so fragile the fire chief said they can't hook up to it if there's a fire.

A Walled Lake resident, Tina Thurstone, said she knows doing nothing is not an option. However, she doesn't think that she and her neighbors should be assessed more taxes for the cost of road repair and storm runoff on a public street.

"We're working-class families," said Thurston. "You can't come to us and say, 'I'm sorry,' but $2,000 a year for 25 years and it could go higher. I just can't afford it. And we wouldn't be able to sell our homes."

City officials said fixing the water infrastructure is paramount.

"Now we're at a point we have to fix it before someone gets hurt," said Chief Paul Shakinas, of the Walled Lake Police Department.

That's because the old main the fire department uses only has a limited supply of water. That means the fire department would have limited water in that area if a fire broke out.

"Not trying to scare anyone but it's to a point something has to be done before something bad happens," said Shakinas.

"This is on the city to figure out. They can't come to us after 18 years of us complaining and say, 'Oh, now that this has been ruined because of our neglect you have to pay more money.' That's not okay," said Thurston.

A special meeting will be held Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Walled Lake City Hall.

A very large turnout is expected.

The city manager said if council votes to do nothing the city will simply move on to the next project.

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