City Council approved orders Thursday from Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr that seek to refinance about $5.2 billion in bonds for the water department.

The panel voted 6-0 in favor of the resolutions during a special meeting convened during its summer recess. Council members Gabe Leland, Mary Sheffield and Andre Spivey were absent.

The plan, adopted last week by Detroit Water and Sewerage Department commissioners, has the potential to free up cash for Detroit’s restructuring and potentially speed an exit from bankruptcy court.

Officials have said the plan would lower the utility’s interest rate, reduce costs and potentially save customers across the region millions of dollars.

It would give secured water bondholders a chance to have the city buy back the bonds. By doing so, the city could issue new bonds and refinance up to $5.183 billion of debt.