Regional authority may run Detroit Water Department

Regional authority may run Detroit Water Department

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Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Representatives from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are meeting with Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's staff to talk about the future of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

The goal is to turn control over to a regional authority. The move could generate millions of dollars every year for the city and give suburbs more say over operations and rates.

Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner Jim Nash said this option is a lot more attractive than selling the water department to a private company.

"The counties and the smaller customers of the system would all be basically running the system rather than directly through the city. It's been something that's been proposed for a significant amount of time now, and it's really moving forward fast," Nash said.

The Emergency Manager's Office would not comment, but sources said the city wants to hammer out the details by the end of the year to submit as part of the bankruptcy plan. If everyone stays on the same page, an authority could be in place by September of 2014.

"It's a negotiation. All sides have issues that they want to make sure are addressed, and I think we're heading very much in the right direction," Nash said.

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