Macomb Township votes to withhold money to GLWA over Highland Park unpaid debt

Other communities have decided to withhold

Communities voted to withhold water payments in Macomb County.

Macomb Township has voted to withhold funds that would go toward Great Lakes Water Authority arrearages and put the money in escrow.

The township becomes the latest community to join the mutiny in Macomb, West Wayne and Downriver over a rate increase of which half is going to pay for what the GLWA says is $54 million in arrearages from Highland Park.

In 2012, the state stepped in and shut down Highland Park’s water treatment plant over water quality issues and put the city into the GLWA on an emergency basis.

Related: Flashpoint Interview: Local leaders discuss Highland Park, GLWA water dispute

Ten years later, Highland Park is still in the system, and owes millions, according to the authority.

All the other communities have been paying toward those arrearages. For example, Macomb Township has already paid $1.43 million and will pay another 178,000 in the next fiscal year. The township is refusing to do it.

Supervisor Frank Viviano has already sent a letter to Governor Whitmer demanding the state take responsibility for the situation. “I really think there’s only one resolution,” Viviano said. “The state created this mess and the state can clean it up.”

Previous coverage: Should other communities be paying for Highland Park’s $52M water bill debt?

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