Highland Park agrees to pay $1 million to GLWA for unpaid water bills as part of debt agreement

The City of Highland Park and the Great Lakes Water Authority announced an interim agreement regarding a $24 million judgment owed for unpaid water and wastewater services.

As a result of the agreement, which was worked out Monday, Highland Park will be paying $1 million to GLWA by June 9 which will result in a stay - or pause of court activities. GLWA and Highland Park agree that the judgment of approximately $24 million will continue to accrue interest until the full amount is paid off, according to a release.

"I am pleased that we have been able to reach this interim agreement with the city of Highland Park," said Suzanne R. Coffey, GLWA Chief Executive Officer. "I am confident the effort exhibited by all parties, which has allowed us to get to this interim step, will carry forward and move us toward a more comprehensive solution for our region."

Other key elements of the agreement include:

Highland Park's $1 million payment will be applied to the judgment in the 2014 case or to a final settlement if one is reached.

Upon receipt of the $1 million by June 9, 2023, GLWA and Highland Park will request a stay of the 2014 case, from which the $24 million judgment resulted, until October 1, 2023.

In addition, GLWA and Highland Park will request a stay of the 2020 case (for monies owed post-2014) and an adjournment of the trial currently scheduled to begin in July) until on or after December 5, 2023 (on a date to be set by the court);

If Highland Park does not make the $1 million payment to GLWA by June 9, 2023, the stays are immediately lifted and GLWA may immediately enforce the judgment in the 2014 case. Enforcement of a judgment against municipalities involves serving the judgment on the city assessor who is then required to place the judgment on the city’s tax rolls;

GLWA and Highland Park understand the state of Michigan intends to file a position statement with the court in the 2014 case stating its support of the stay of the proceedings and explaining why the State is involved and intends to participate in efforts to resolve this matter and reach a final, comprehensive solution to all issues, the release said.