By Beth Fisher

PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – Pontiac emergency manager Louis Schimmel said Oakland County has agreed to issue $55 million in bonds for the municipal water and wastewater treatment systems, helping the city get out of debt.

WWJ’s Beth Fisher reports the plan would make the water system a stand-alone public corporation. Schimmel said the move is projected to save about $52 million over 30 years.

He says the savings plus the $55 million in cash will hasten his departure, “which should make some people happy.”

“It will be my intention then at that time to eliminate the deficit of the City of Pontiac  with that $55 million, and also retire $40-some million of the city’s debt,” said Schimmel.

Schimmel says he may be able to finish reorganizing Pontiac’s finances this year, rather than in 2013.

Mayor Leon Jukowski said the wastewater treatment plant operates at about 50 percent capacity. Under the plan, the system would seek new customers in the area.

Pontiac resident Gloria Miller said the deal sounds great.

“We’re glad that we are hopefully not losing our asset, which is the water treatment plant,” said Miller.

Eventually, the plant would treat waste water from surrounding communities and share the cost.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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