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Highland Park owes some $24 million in unpaid water bills

A Michigan state senate committee is recommending appropriating funding to pay off most of Highland Park’s outstanding water bills. Quinn Klinefelter has more.

The city owes about 24 million dollars to the Great Lakes Water Authority, and Highland Park’s mayor says it should file for Chapter Nine bankruptcy protection. State lawmakers targeted more than 20 million dollars towards Highland Park’s water debt as part of Michigan’s Health and Human Services Budget.

State Senator Sylvia Santana , who’s district includes Highland Park, says Michigan taxpayers would still have to bear the brunt of the city’s financial woes, if it declared bankruptcy.

“The state would be on the hook for the debt. Obviously they would go into receivership and we as a state would have to pay that debt.”, said Santana.

The full state senate will not consider the proposed appropriation until at least next week. 

Quinn Klinefelter is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, anchoring midday newscasts and preparing reports for WDET, NPR and the BBC. Klinefelter joined WDET in 1998 after earning a M.A. from the nation’s top-ranked journalism school, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and working as a sports correspondent for BBC Radio 4 and as a talk show host, anchor and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio.