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“Fox 2 News” (WJBK, Detroit)
Posted: Dec 03, 2012 7:48 PM CST
Updated: Dec 03, 2012 7:48 PM CST
By Roop Raj
Fox 2 News
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WJBK) — Repairs have been needed for years to the Highland Park water plant at Dequindre and Davison and money for capital improvements has dried up, leaving the cash-strapped city with no choice but to get help from the outside.
“I’ve made the decision to engage in a temporary arrangement with Detroit… to provide water service for the citizens of Highland Park,” Mayor Deandre Windom said at a press conference Monday.
Water came gushing out of the plant on November 23. Meanwhile, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality says the plant has had too many violations and is teetering on being deemed unsafe.
Highland Park officials had no choice but to ask Detroit for help. They put together an advisory board made up of former mayors and current state Senator Burt Johnson, among others. The goal? Figure out how to get the water department up and working again for the city.
“Highland Park is not giving up on the water plant. Our intention is to find a revenue source to make the necessary repairs and bring the aging system to full strength. However, it is equally important to stress how costly such improvements will be,” Windom said.
A 40 percent delinquency rate, faulty mechanical issues at the plant and the bad economy adding up to murky waters for the City of Highland Park, but at no point was the water ever deemed unsafe. That’s something the mayor wants everybody to know.
“However, it is determined that gone unaddressed, these problems could impact the quality in the long term,” said Windom.
No timeline on when Highland Park will get its own water flowing again has been set. The advisory council will start meeting right away.
While the water will be provided from the City of Detroit, the residents of Highland Park won’t see an increase in their monthly water bills, according to city officials.
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