detroit-water-shut-off-400x240Judgment will allow GLWA to collect more than $19 million in charges for unpaid water services

This week the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Great Lakes Water Authority, allowing it to move forward in the collection of more than $19 million in unpaid water service debt.

“We are pleased with the court’s ruling, and ready to move in our efforts to collect the debt owed, helping relieve our current, paying customer communities of this financial burden, ” said William M. Wolfson, Chief Administrative and Compliance Officer/General Counsel, GLWA. “While litigation is always a method of last resort, after repeatedly attempting to work in good faith with Highland Park to focus on and to resolve its debt, this ruling affirms our legal position.”

In April of 2015, GLWA obtained a judgment against Highland Park in Michigan state court based upon Highland Park’s refusal to pay for water and sewer services it received from the authority. Highland Park appealed that judgment and their appeal was overturned this week in favor of GLWA.

According to the judgment, “If this Court were to accept Highland Park’s interpretation of the federal statute, the city of Detroit would be left with no avenue by which to enforce its judgment and Highland Park would be relieved of its obligations. This would be contrary to this Court’s pronouncement that ‘municipal corporations have the same obligation as any person or body corporate to satisfy judgments rendered against them.’”

The Great Lakes Water Authority is the provider of choice for water and waste water services to 127 municipalities in seven Southeastern Michigan counties. With the Great Lakes as source water, the GLWA is uniquely positioned to provide its customers water of unquestionable quality. GLWA has capacity to extend its service to other Southeastern Michigan communities. The authority offers a Water Residential Assistance Program to assist low-income residential customers throughout the system. The GLWA board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties as well as two representatives from the City of Detroit, and one appointed by the governor of Michigan to represent customer communities outside the tri-county area.

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