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Detroit mayor nominates water department leaders

Detroit Press Office

A new leadership team is planned for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Mayor Mike Duggan has nominated Gary Brown as director of the department and Palencia Mobley as deputy director and chief engineer.

The Board of Water Commissioners is expected to vote on the nominations Wednesday, according to the mayor's office. 

"Gary is an outstanding administrator who has helped modernize many city services and generate significant cost savings," said Duggan. "Palencia is a brilliant engineer and the type of young talent that will rebuild our water department's infrastructure for future generations." 

Brown said his top priorities are improving customer service and rebuilding the city's aging water infrastructure. 

"The water department will attract economic development and also attract residents if we can maintain a low rate," Brown said. "We want a system that's well run that benefits all ratepayers whether you're in the suburbs or Detroit."

The nominations come in anticipation of a Jan. 1 transition to a regional water system. The plan is for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to serve the city, while the Great Lakes Water Authority leases Detroit's water infrastructure outside the city limits from the city for $50 million per year.