Detroit Utility Lease Approved

A new regional authority was formalized June 12 to take over operations of Detroit's water and sewer system
Detroit Utility Lease Approved

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As part of its bankruptcy recovery plan, the City of Detroit will lease out its water and sewer systems to the Great Lakes Water Authority board. The decision was finalized with a 5-1 vote from the Authority.

Under the agreement, the city will lease the water and sewer systems to the Authority for $50 million a year for 40 years. The long-term lease will provide funds to repair the system’s aging infrastructure.

The deal also includes a new $4.5 million fund to assist low-income families with water bills. Last summer, Detroit came under fire from several groups because of its water shut-off policy. The policy, which drew attention from the United Nations, was an attempt to collect $90 million in unpaid water bills.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called the lease approval "a historic step forward in resolving decades of conflict between Detroit and our suburban neighbors."

"Detroit will have the resources we need to rebuild our city's crumbling water and sewer pipes," he said.

"I fully support the historic steps we are taking in forming the Great Lakes Water Authority," Oakland County Resources Commissioner Jim Nash told reporters. "My staff has worked hard on these efforts over the past year which demonstrates historic regional cooperation and will lead to more regional control, more transparency, and more efficiency."

Source: Reuters, Source Newspapers


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