Highland Park asks state to approve bankruptcy as city faces $19M unpaid water bill
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (FOX 2) - The Highland Park City Council narrowly voted Monday to ask Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to begin Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings for the city.
READ: Highland Park seeks bailout from state to pay multi-million dollar water bill
In a 3-2 council vote, the city moved forward with starting a bankruptcy filing. This move comes as the city faces a $19 million unpaid water bill to the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA).
"We will not allow our water to be shut off. That's inhumane," Mayor Glenda McDonald said.
The mayor told council that they risk a water shut-off and more - because of a $19 million outstanding water bill that the city says it can't pay.
"If we do not, the citizens' houses will be levied and our water can possibly be shut off," McDonald said.
The GLWA responded to the city of Highland Park saying it is not going to turn the water off and that the statement is untrue and counterproductive.
Related: Highland Park seeks bailout from state to pay multi-million dollar water bill
Now that the city has requested bankruptcy from the state, Whitmer needs to declare an emergency financial situation exists. Then, there will be negotiations and a possible emergency manager before the last resort: bankruptcy.
More: Macomb County leaders say they won't pay Highland Park's unpaid water bills
When Detroit filed for bankruptcy 10 years ago, it took about 1 ½ years before the city could exit bankruptcy.