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Wayne County asks state to declare financial emergency

Wayne County executive Warren Evans has asked state officials to declare a financial emergency there.

In a letter to state treasurer Nick Khouri Wednesday, Evans lays out his reasons for requesting state intervention in Michigan’s largest county, and requests Khouri start the process that could lead to a financial emergency being declared.

He projects the county’s deficit will balloon from $9.9 million this year to more than $170 million in 2019, and says the county’s pension fund also has an $870 million unfunded liability.

Evans says he wants to hammer out a consent agreement with the state that would mandate specific cuts.

“I am requesting this Consent Agreement because the additional authority it can provide the County may be necessary to get the job of fixing the county’s finances done,” Evans said in a statement.

Evans’ proposed recovery plan, which looks to cut $230 million over four years, has run into resistance from employee unions.

Some County Commissioners have also questioned the plan, and a Commission analysis suggests the county’s fiscal situation is not as bad as Evans claims.   

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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