Detroit bankruptcy could lead to higher water rates

(WXYZ) - Detroit and its consultants continue to negotiate with the suburbs in an attempt to monetize the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. 

But Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson says they are "this far apart (gesturing wide with his arms)" and the asking price of $9 Billion from the suburbs is a "non-starter." 

The talks have been going on for weeks.  Patterson says if no deal is reached, the city could sell it to a private company and water rates for customers are expected to go up. 

Discussions have centered on turning the water department into a regional authority similar to what was done with Cobo Center in downtown Detroit a few years ago.  But Patterson says the board would be made up of four representatives from the city and three from the suburbs. 

Patterson says, "no way in hell are we going back to a minority position." 

Detroit has to pay off $6 billion in bonds and mediation is scheduled for next week in New York City with Wall Street.  Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and his team will be there. 

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