Finance

Detroit Bankruptcy Fix Hits Another Snag

December 16, 2013

In bankruptcy and looking for cash, Detroit would like to lease its water utility to raise as much as $9 billion to fund basic services long term, but talks with neighboring suburban counties are stalled.

County officials say they are stuck over the price tag and estimates of repair costs, likely delaying plans by Detroit's emergency manager to deliver a financial restructuring plan early next month.

State-appointed manager Kevyn Orr set a deadline of December 20 to reach a water deal, which would help meet a self-imposed early January date for filing a plan to bring Detroit out of bankruptcy - well ahead of a March 1 requirement set by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes.

Suburban officials expressed grave doubts about Orr's timeline.

"That deadline is dead in the water," said Mark Hackel, executive of Macomb County, who has participated in talks.

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