Chicago Department of Water Management back in the front page of the Sun-Times
Well not quite. Make sure you keep a close eye on the impending lawsuits against the Department of Water Management. Read the article by Fran Spielman. Click on the extended entry.
Bottling Lake Michigan water worth exploring, new commissioner says But says city has no plans to privatize water system Comments June 8, 2010 BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter Mayor Daley has "no plans" to privatize Chicago's water system, but bottling and selling the city's "exceptional" tap water is worth exploring, newly-appointed Water Management Commissioner Tom Powers said today. "The quality of the water that the department puts out is exceptional. In some cases, it's better than bottled water," Powers said after his City Council confirmation hearing. Asked if Chicago might someday bottle and sell Lake Michigan water, Powers said, "As far as how you go about doing that -- I don't know how practical that is. It's something you'd have to look at." After holding the line on taxes in 2010 by draining reserves generated by the $1.15 billion deal that privatized Chicago parking meters, Daley declared his intention to continue the Great Chicago sell-off. Speculation has centered on privatizing all or parts of Chicago's water system, including the Jardine and South filtration plants, city pumping stations, water billing functions or just the sewer system. Some insiders believe Daley might have appointed Powers with marching orders to move the department at the center of the Hired Truck and city hiring scandals more aggressively toward privatization. After the City Council's Budget Committee approved his appointment, Powers tried his best to shoot down the privatization talk. "The people on the street and the people behind the desks at the Department of Water Management do an outstanding job. . . . There are no plans to privatize any of those functions," Powers said. Aldermen who questioned Powers today had more mundane concerns than privatization. They were focused on quicker restoration of Chicago streets after sewer, water and transportation projects are completed. "I don't think a restoration job should sit for two years," said Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th). "I've got some e-mails I'm gonna hand you at the end of this meeting about [projects] that have been a year-and-a-half and not restored," said Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th). Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said he hopes Powers will "accelerate coordination" between construction crews from the Departments of Transportation and Water Management after Powers spent the last 14 years at CDOT. "The constituent just knows it's the city. They don't care who [tore up the street]. It needs to be coordinated. When someone does half of a job in the taxpayer's mind because it's not their work or it wasn't their cut, we've really got to figure out how to streamline that," Tunney said.