A regional water authority between Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties is dead, unless a federal judge steps in and orders mediation.
The city of Detroit has called off further talks with the three counties and has asked federal bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to reject a request for mediation, the Detroit Free Press reports.
In a court filing, Detroit representatives said talks with the three counties “have run their course.”
There’s still an outside chance that negotiations could resume, a spokesman for Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr said.
But there has increasingly been distrust among the parties. Leaders in both Oakland and Macomb county balked at the prospect of entering into a deal that would require them to pay $47 million a year for 40 years in lease payments to Detroit a part of a plan to lift the city out of bankruptcy. Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said his county would be open to joining with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in the formation of a regional authority.
Oakland and Macomb counties are considering working together to provide water and sewer services, although experts say that would be an expensive proposition.