Highland Park group rallies for water bill aid from state
A group from Highland Park rallied at the state Capitol Thursday to demand assistance to erase millions of dollars in water and sewer service debt.
The Detroit enclave has fewer than 9,000 residents, a poverty rate around 40%, and a giant past-due bill from the state-created Great Lakes Water Authority. Highland Park owes the authority $24 million plus interest.
Highland Park residents say that cost will be passed along to utility customers who can’t afford it.
A legal challenge went up to the Michigan Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. Last April, the Highland Park City Council also asked the state for permission to file for bankruptcy protection, though no formal action has been taken on the request.
Democratic House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) told Michigan Public Radio there are discussions underway that could include bailout funding in the next state budget.
“We just had our fiscal year budget come online and we still kind of have to work through (it),” he said.
The state’s new budget will take effect with the start of the fiscal year on October 1.