Regional Water Authority DOA in Detroit

One of the unanswered questions of Detroit’s post-bankruptcy future is what will happen with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, especially after negotiations to create a regional authority ended in failure this week.

“The City of Detroit has ended negotiations with Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties over the potential spinoff of the city’s water department as a regional authority, but the city and counties signaled they haven’t ruled out a deal entirely,” report Nathan Bomey, Christina Hall, and Bill Laitner.

The end of the negotiations “follows months of finger-pointing between the municipalities with the counties recoiling at the prospect of endorsing a regional water authority that would pay $47 million per year for 40 years in lease payments to Detroit. Wayne had signaled a willingness to consider a deal.”

Although officials from the city and the counties in question left a slim chance open that mediation or some other deus ex machina could save the proposal, the city has stated its intention to “consider bids from private water companies to acquire or lease the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.”

Full Story: Detroit: Bankruptcy water deal with suburbs is dead, unless court orders mediation


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