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Emergency Manager puts City Water Department responsibilities under Mayor Duggan

DETROIT, MI - Kevyn D. Orr, Emergency Manger for the City of Detroit, today issued a new order that amplifies the responsibilities of the Mayor with respect to management of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

Emergency Manager Order 31 grants to the Mayor authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the Board of Water Commission. The order amplifies the authority given to the Mayor to manage City operations and make appointments as outlined in Order 20.

Mike Duggan, in a statement said, "I welcome the Emergency Manager's order this morning giving me the responsibility for dealing with the Water Department issues. We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly. There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills - we need to do a much better job in community outreach to tell our residents how to access those funds."

"I've heard complaints from many Detroiters who are trying to make payment arrangements, but who have faced long waits on the telephone or long lines at the DWSD offices. We've got to do a much better job of supporting those who are trying to do the right thing in making those payment arrangements," Duggan said.

Detroit Chapter NAACP spokesman Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony said, "Today’s announcement by emergency manager Kevin Orr that Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will regain management and control of Detroit’s Water/Sewerage Department, is indeed most appropriate and overdue. We hope that this move is an indication that democracy is rapidly returning to the city of Detroit."

“This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the Mayor,” Orr said. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability. This order ensures a common focus on customer service and sound management practices that reflects the City’s commitment to refocusing its efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills.”

A copy of Order No. 31 is posted on the Emergency Manager's website at www.detroitmi.gov/EmergencyManager.