HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – The Michigan Supreme court has upheld an order requiring the city of Highland Park to pay more than $20 million in unpaid fees and interest to the Great Lakes Water Authority.
On Tuesday, April 4, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected the city’s appeal of a 2022 ruling requiring them to pay. A spokesperson for Macomb County acknowledged the ruling, saying the city is exploring all options and has no further comment at the time.
Officials in Macomb County are applauding the state Supreme Court’s decision.
“Everyone’s willing to help out their neighbors, but at some point in time, you’ve got to help yourself out,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.
In 2012, Highland Park stopped paying the Great Lakes Water Authority for water and sewer services, which caused rate increases in other communities to cover the debt. Dozens of communities in Macomb County and Metro Detroit saw their rates rise due to Highland Park not paying its bills.
“We try to figure out how to keep those rates reasonable, but when you start realizing the cost that you’re paying as a ratepayer is for another community that’s not paying, it becomes frustrating,” Hackel said.
More on this story: Judge: Highland Park must repay debt to Great Lakes Water Authority