Payment for St. Clair Shores Police Department emergency repairs approved

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 24, 2021

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — City Council voted to approve emergency funding for repairs to be made to the Police Department, but members questioned why they were only hearing about the damage three months after the fact.

Deputy Police Chief Paul Plaza told City Council Nov. 15 that there had been substantial flooding to the basement of the department on Aug. 12. The bill for Jarvis Property Restoration to remove water and raw sewage, as well as sanitize and clean the entire area, came to $18,415.78. The cleanup took several weeks.

“This water was coming from ... a sewage backup,” he said.

Community Development and Inspections Director Chris Rayes said that, in discussions with building maintenance, it was determined that more investigation was necessary to figure out why water and sewage were coming in. Although the event occurred during a heavy rain, it did not occur during an even larger rain event in June.

“The water is only coming out of the toilet — not out of the floor drains,” he said. “We’re going to be doing some additional investigation.”

There’s a possibility, he said, that the water draining from the building’s roof was somehow connected to the drain stack.

“We want to make sure we know exactly what’s going on,” Rayes said.

City Council authorization is only needed on expenditures over $15,000, so the matter was not brought before council prior to Nov. 15 because City Manager Matthew Coppler didn’t think the restoration bill “was going to be this expensive,” he said.

But council members said they’d like to know what is going on when there is damage to city buildings, regardless of the expense.

“It’s not a good thing to learn three months later,” Councilwoman Candice Rusie said. “This seems like it should be something we should know about when it happens. Just send an email out.”

Councilman Chris Vitale agreed.

“When it comes to (the) Police Department and Fire, those are core services we want to know (about),” Vitale said. “The chiefs of all our frontline departments should feel free to contact us.”

The motion to pay for the emergency repairs was approved by a vote of 6-0.