DETROIT (AP) - A judge has ordered the city of Detroit and the suburbs to further explore the creation of a regional water department.
Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes granted Wayne County's request Thursday to have the parties sit down with a mediator.
Detroit's water department provides water to Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr has expressed interest in spinning off the department as a regional agency.
But some suburban leaders are concerned about future financial burdens on their residents.
The judge says the bankruptcy case is a "unique opportunity" to keep negotiating. Otherwise, Rhodes says the opportunity "will be lost forever."