- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Officials in Oakland and Macomb counties have approved joining a new regional authority to take over operations of Detroit’s water system.

The Oakland County commissioners voted Wednesday night on the Great Lakes Water Authority. Macomb County commissioners on Thursday morning voted to join.

The votes follow earlier approval by the Wayne County Commission and Detroit City Council. The authority needed approval of Detroit and one county to move forward.

Detroit’s water system serves about 700,000 city residents and 4 million people in southeastern Michigan. Under plans for the Great Lakes Water Authority, the suburbs will pay Detroit $50 million a year for 40 years. Detroit retains ownership of the system.

Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties would have a say in how the system is run outside Detroit.

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