Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr sat down with the Michigan Chronicle, one of the state’s leading African-American newspapers. In a wide-ranging interview, Orr and Publisher Bankole Thompson discussed the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, specifically what happened with negotiations to create a regional authority, how that proposal collapsed and how privatizing the department might work.
Here’s one exchange:
Michigan Chronicle: Can you explain what you meant by leasing as an option?
Kevyn Orr: We were going to create an authority, which would essentially lease the department and operate it and pay the city a lease payment. That would be $47 million a year. Our county partners don’t want to do that. That’s fine. So we are going to move away from the lease concept more to a contract. There are operating contractors out there who would bring greater efficiency to the system. That’s what they do. We would also entertain requests for information about an outright purchase.