Control of Detroit water department placed in mayor's hands after criticism of shutoffs

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DETROIT — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is now running the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department following criticism about service shutoffs to city residents.

State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr says in order Tuesday that handing control of the massive system over to Duggan is "in the best interests of the city."

The water department has been criticized in recent weeks for stepped up service shutoffs to delinquent city customers. Water was cut off to about 7,200 homes and businesses in June. The shutoffs were suspended July 21 for 15 days to better educate customers on payment plans.

Orr says his order "ensures a common focus on customer service and sound management practices that reflects the city's commitment to refocusing its efforts to help ... customers get and remain current on their water bills."

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