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Detroit EM to present restructuring plan to creditors, unions

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Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr
DETROIT (WJBK) -

It's the meeting we've all known was coming. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is bringing Detroit's unions, creditors and bond holders together in one room for one purpose.

"This is really the first opportunity that the emergency manager is going to have with the stakeholders and the creditors to lay out the go forward plan to restructure the City of Detroit," said Bill Nowling, Orr's spokesperson.

He won't give specific details on the plan, but we know it will include cuts and lots of changes.

"The financial situation that the city is in is dire, and the plan that the emergency manager is going to put forth next Friday is going to reflect that situation," Nowling said.

It will also restructure how the city does business. The EM wants to privatize garbage pickup, which could improve services and save the city $15 million a year. Another big idea is to lease the Detroit Water and Sewage Department to a regional authority, which the EM says will save the city $70 million a year. Walking away from the Detroit Public Lighting power grid would save the city another $30 million.

The plan will also include cuts to the banks and the unions representing employees, cuts that no one is eager to take.

"You've got the outstanding taxes that's over roughly $800 million. The state treasurer claims it's around $700 million, but what's $100 million when it's owed to the City of Detroit. You need to be going out and getting it," said Ed McNeil with AFSCME. "Then you have consulting contracts on top of consulting contracts that continue to be increased."

"You're only making $1,200 or $1,300 a month on your pension, and they want you to pay $300 or $400 a month. It's pretty difficult. The elderly people have a lot of prescription costs," said Don Taylor with the Retired Detroit Police and Firefighters Association.

"We are facing the largest municipal financial crisis in the history of the United States. The city is staring down bankruptcy. We need the best and brightest legal and financial minds working to protect the services for the citizens of Detroit," Nowling said.

What if they get everybody in the room and they all say no?

"It's going to be an interesting summer," Nowling said.

The meeting is scheduled for next Friday at 10:00 a.m. at the Westin Hotel at Detroit Metro Airport.

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