Detroit, counties reach deal over water, sewer authority

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 09, 2014 11:41 AM

DETROIT (Reuters) - Detroit reached a deal with three Michigan counties that creates a regional water and sewer authority, but maintains the city's control of the local system, officials announced on Tuesday.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the deal with the heads of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties has the support of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the city's state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

Under the deal, Detroit would tap $50 mln a year in lease payments from the counties to back up to $800 mln bonds to rebuild the water and sewer system, Duggan said.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the deal allows the counties to avoid having an alternative plan proposed by the city from being imposed on them by a federal court judge overseeing Detroit's historic bankruptcy case.

(Reporting By Lisan Lambert, additional reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)