Waiting on the Water Deal

Chief mediator for regional water authority watching closely for finalized deal

MACKINAC ISLAND — The chief mediator in Detroit’s bankruptcy case says he’s hoping that the city of Detroit and counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb soon finalize the Great Lakes Water Authority. 

Terms of the memo of understanding, signed during the city’s bankruptcy trial, call for a lease agreement to be finalized by June 14.

Chief U.S. District Judge in Detroit Gerald Rosen spoke at the Mackinac Policy Conference Thursday, calling on leaders in Detroit and the three counties to get the deal done.

“The counties and the city are still negotiating the conclusion of the Great Lakes Water Authority, and under the Memo of Understanding that has to be finalized, the lease has to be finalized within the next couple of weeks. I would encourage the parties that are hard at work in negotiations to keep working at it,” says Rosen.

Despite a federal gag order preventing public discussion of the negotiations, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel has publicly criticized the process. Hackel says he objects to the $50 million annual lease payments because he hasn’t received enough information from the city about how the funds would be used.


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