Some Highland Park residents receiving five-figure water bills due to mishaps


  • Shutterstock

Thanks to years of infrequent billing, messed up water meters, and an understaffed department, the city of Highland Park's water department is causing major, unbelievably costly headaches for a number of residents, according to investigative reporter Curt Guyette of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. 

Writing on the ACLU's Democracy Watch blog, Guyette says

As fouled up as things are for Fogle, she might be considered one of Highland Park’s more fortunate residents. Others have recently been blind-sided with four-figure and, in some cases, five-figure water and sewer bills.

[Emma] Fogle’s son, Dave, is one of the hardest hit. Earlier this month, he received a $10,539 bill for the period covering October 2011 to February 2015.

A security guard who also works as a para-professional for Highland Park schools, he says there’s no way he can afford to pay that staggering amount.

“I looked at it and thought, ‘How could this be?” he said.

On top of that, Highland Park, under a state-mandated neutral evaluation of its debt since last year, has since lost a lawsuit against the city of Detroit, requiring it to pony up nearly $22 million in water and sewerage fees, according to Guyette. 

You can check out the entire piece here

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.