Jay Levine and Ed Marshall expose more of Daley's Corruption
Is City Flushing Money Away By 'Lining' Sewers? One Alderman Prefers Chicago Suspend Program And Redirect The Millions To Services Reporting Jay Levine CHICAGO (CBS) ― Click to enlarge1 of 1 With the city of Chicago facing a $600 million budget deficit and a critical shortage of police officers, Mayor Daley is desperate to save money. Well, one alderman says he's found tens of millions of dollars in savings. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports. Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) first learned about the project on Clybourn Avenue when he spotted a crew working. "That was the first time I'd seen this rag-tag crew out there working on the sewers, and I said, 'What exactly is going on with this one?'" CBS 2 came across a similar crew, actually a single worker, with a bunch of hose, white buckets, and some kind of machine spraying a semi-liquid resin into an open manhole. "We're lining the sewers," the crew member told CBS 2 producer Ed Marshall. His company, Sewer Tech, is a subcontractor for Kenny Construction, the mayoral favorite and low bidder for a contract that could be worth $120 million or more. The Water Department says Sewer Tech "creates a pipe within a pipe" and can "renew the old main for up to a century." "The sewer lining is helpful but if it's not a necessity right now, let's put the money where we need it, in the police department," Waguespack said. City investigator Patrick McDonough, who helped expose the Hired Truck scandal, says the firm's contract can lead to greater expense. "It's just an open-ended contract for Daley and his friends. That's all it is," he said. Kenny Construction, which declined an on-camera interview, issued a statement saying the sewer-lining work "is a cost-effective program that will save the city and its taxpayers money and inconvenience." By putting it off, the Water Department maintains, "we'd be playing catch-up." The project, launched in 2006 when the economy was booming and the city was in much better financial shape, is about three-quarters finished. That still leaves about $40 million to be spent on the city's aging sewers. "If it's a collapse, do the collapse, I don't care about the other stuff right now," Ald. Waguespack said. "If you can suspend these contracts, suspend them and redirect the money to something else." A Water Department spokesman conceded that the sewers being lined weren't about to collapse. In fact, they have to be in reasonably good shape to be stable enough to hold the lining. Contributing: CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall It all about lining Daley's pockets folks. Report corruption to Jay Levine.