Published August 22, 2014
Councilman floats flood assistance loan plan
By Brian Louwers firstname.lastname@example.org
WARREN — Talk about rainy days.
Warren got one and then some Aug. 11, when more than 5 inches of water fell from the sky and flooded basements, swamped cars, closed roads and left residents stranded.
City Council member Keith Sadowski said he’d like to explore putting up to $10 million from the city’s estimated $45 million in cash reserves — sometimes referred to as a “rainy day fund” — to work helping residents recover from the devastating flood that damaged an estimated 18,000 homes.
Sadowski’s proposal to explore low-interest loans from the fund balance was approved by council members Aug. 19, and the matter was set for further discussion during a special session at 6 p.m. Aug. 25, after the Warren Weekly went to press.
“As a local government, the citizens of Warren have been very good in the fact that they’ve approved several millages in order to help us remain a healthy government,” Sadowski said. “This is where we should start to return the favor, and we should try to help distribute some of this money out in low-interest loans.”
Sadowski said the amount held in Warren’s cash reserves would allow the city to distribute $10 million without hurting its financial standing.
He estimated about 5,000 homes experienced damages averaging $2,000.
But Warren Mayor Jim Fouts put the estimated toll from the Aug. 11 flooding much higher. The mayor said city assessors estimated that 18,000 homes were damaged. He suspected damages could exceed $250 million.
Fouts said while he couldn’t endorse or reject the proposal without more information, many questions remained. He also said Sadowski hadn’t discussed the proposal with him or any members of the administration before it was introduced at the meeting on Aug. 19.
“What’s it going to cover? Is it going to cover renters? Is it going to cover landlords? Is there a cap on the money?” Fouts said. “If someone is turned down, will that person be allowed to appeal it in court? What if the amount of people (affected) is growing?”
Fouts said the plan would require another level of bureaucracy to implement and that the city wouldn’t be equipped to handle it.
He also questioned whether action by the city to provide loans from its own fund balance would limit any available help through the state or federal governments.
“There’s just a lot of questions that haven’t been answered,” Fouts said. “It certainly will cost more than $10 million.”
By voting to support Sadowski’s request, the council directed Warren City Attorney David Griem to explore the creation of guidelines and procedures for a low-interest loan program for Warren residents affected by the recent flooding.
Griem was expected to present information to council before the special meeting on Aug. 25.
- 24 HRS
- 7 DAYS
- 30 DAYS
- Dozens file for Warren city offices as lawsuit lingers - Warren
- List of intersection accident data released - Metro Detroit
- Detroit Zoo crowdfunds to harness energy from poop - Metro Detroit
- Rebuilding Together breathes new life into homes - Farmington Hills
- Alleged murderer of party store owner to stand trial - Clinton Township
- Crime down, quality of department up in 2014 - Royal Oak
- Military museum announces upcoming event plans - Eastpointe
- Rock community ready to roast local show promoter - Roseville
- Tour the chocolate factory with Lamphere High’s ‘Willy Wonka’ - Madison Heights
- By the book: Experts explain how strange, outdated laws manage to stick around - Metro Detroit
- Kroger receives approval for $25 million marketplace - Royal Oak
- New kiosk to assist Stony Creek cyclists - Sterling Heights
- Jazz pros, students to celebrate music of past and present at April 30 concert - Detroit
- Stolen wedding ring a fake report, police say - St. Clair Shores
- Police investigate fatal single-vehicle crash - Shelby Township
- Construction continues at Macomb Mall - Roseville
- Frankenfoods: Are GMOs as scary as people think? - Metro Detroit
- Man in skeleton hoodie robs 7-Eleven - St. Clair Shores
- Jump for Trevor helps teen in need of a heart transplant - Southfield
- Farewell to the Field event takes a look back - Clawson