DETROIT, Mich., Dec. 19, 2023 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a supplemental spending bill yesterday that includes funding as part of a settlement agreement between the state, Highland Park and the Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) over unpaid water bills. The legislation also helps Highland Park replace its nearly 120-year-old water system.

“Yesterday’s supplemental budget signing opens a new chapter for Highland Park. For too long, residents were forced to pay for water that never reached their homes. That’s over. This legislation also allows for major investments in the city’s water infrastructure, which has deteriorated since it was built over a century ago, and no longer serves the city’s needs. After extensive collaboration with and advocacy from community members, I’m excited that residents will have affordable water they can count on,” said state Rep. Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park), who represents Highland Park.

The supplemental budget legislation includes $30 million to provide for lead service line replacement, water main replacements and water and sewer meters. The legislation also revises the administrative consent order to include settlement terms under the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. The Highland Park City Council and GLWA approved the agreement earlier this fall.

“I am grateful to Gov. Whitmer and Chairs Sen. Sarah Anthony and Rep. Angela Witwer for their leadership on this supplemental budget, which includes $30 million for Highland Park water infrastructure, as part of the agreement between Highland Park, the state, and the Great Lakes Water Authority. This is a hugely important step for Highland Park residents and everyone within the GLWA system,” said state Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “Access to water is critical for every Michigan community. By sending state funding to fix Highland Park’s water infrastructure, we are moving the whole GLWA system toward a stronger, more fiscally sustainable future. Highland Park residents have long called for a resolution to this issue and I am very proud to have been a part of making this happen.”