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Sterling Heights lawsuit over sinkhole costs dismissed

May 15, 2017

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Sterling Heights that sought to avoid the city paying part of the estimated $70 million tab for repairing a massive sinkhole in Macomb County.

Sterling Heights is one of ten cities in the sinkhole's drainage district.

Candice Miller is head of the County Public Works Department. She says the lawsuit had stopped a crucial bond sale in its tracks. Now the sale can happen.

"The project has been going unbelievably well in light of the catastrophe that it is," says Miller. "So this lawsuit has been sort of a bump in the road for us, but we're all systems go right now."

Miller says the anticipated date for selling the bonds is May 24. The bond issuance will also refinance some previously issued bonds in order to take advantage of lower interest rates.

She says the bond issuance, plus some money from the state, should also be able to cover the cost of replacing an additional 3,700 feet of pipeline near the sinkhole that is in imminent danger of collapse.