Fraser sinkhole fix could cost $140 million

- It's now been more than a month since a sinkhole opened up in Fraser, changing the lives of dozens of people living in that area.

As several Macomb County communities are living with water restrictions, those most affected by that sinkhole are grappling with the cost of this catastrophe.

"At this point I feel my home is worth nothing," said one Fraser resident.

That was the oft-repeated refrain at Tuesday night's City Council meeting in Fraser as people bemoaned the financial fallout from the sinkhole caused by the 15 Mile interceptor drain collapse.

"I don't think I could put it on the market tomorrow and someone would come and pay anything for that house," the resident said.

Fraser is in the process of reassessing homes directly affected by the drain failure. Replacing the sewer line could cost people living in the 11 impacted communities around $140 million. The long term fix could take 10 months.

"The cost is going to be really high for residents, however we need to fix it," said another resident.

The county is trying to secure state and federal funds to soften the financial blow to residents who would begin paying for the sewer line fix on their July 1st water bills.

There will be a long-term bond that we will be issuing," said Candice Miller, Macomb County Public Works commissioner. "So it will be something that will be paid off in small increments over a long period of time. That's what's going to have to happen here."

The county will send out bidding information to contractors next week and plan to receive them on Feb. 24. Residents are still being told to conserve water if too much goes down the drain, it'll overwhelm the troubled sewer line that's been at capacity since last week.

Miller vows this won't happen again.

"I will tell you one thing, my successor will not be standing out there on 15 Mile in a sinkhole that has happened three times," she said. "And three times and you're out.

The water restriction will be in place another three weeks. That is when a supplemental sewer line will be up and running.
 

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