By SUE SUCHYTA
HEIGHTS – U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-12th District) came bearing gifts to the Feb. 14 City Council meeting, announcing flood mitigation funding for Ecorse Creek and a new library bookmobile.
“You gave credibility to the importance of the maintenance of the Ecorse Creek, which is 50 percent of the struggle and problems,” Tlaib said. “A lot of people don’t understand. It’s not always the high levels, it’s not one or two shopping carts. It’s a lot deeper than that.”
Tlaib said maintenance of Ecorse Creek had been lacking, and the $30,000 a year spent in the past is nothing compared to what needs to be done.
“Ecorse Creek impacts nine communities, so $10 million is a great start, and I am looking forward to seeing the impact,” she said.
Tlaib said President Joe Biden’s signing of the federal budget included $206,000 for a bookmobile “library on wheels” for Dearborn Heights.
“I grew up with a bookmobile,” she said amid cheers from meeting attendees. “So that’s coming.”
Tlaib said the request was initially approved in December. The library will also get money for some of the upgrades it needs for technology.
She also announced she was working with Wayne County to get $741,000 to rehab and upgrade pumping station 182, which she said impacts a lot of Wayne County communities.
Tlaib said a significant part of the Ecorse Creek problems is focused on maintenance.
“Everyone drops everything when I say a FEMA administrator is coming with the Army Corp (of Engineers),” she said. “It helps when I can take somebody from the White House administration into our communities and actually show them that people are losing their backyards, that people are impacted and they can see it.”
Tlaib said it helps significantly when federal officials have seen first-hand the conditions for which funding is being sought.