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Detroit Stretches Freeze On Water Shut-offs

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Water bill. FILE (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Water bill. FILE (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

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DETROIT (AP/WWJ) – The city of Detroit is extending a freeze on residential water shut-offs for three weeks.

Water director Sue McCormick says a new plan on how to handle overdue bills will be announced Thursday. An aggressive shut-off policy was suspended for 15 days on July 21, but that moratorium now been extended to Aug. 25.

Mayor Mike Duggan says customers will have “one last opportunity” to come up with a payment plan. More than 400 people appeared at a city office Saturday to avoid a shut-off or get water restored.

Detroit has been cutting off water to people who are 60 days behind or owe more than $150. Water stopped for more than 15,000 customers from March through June, although many made payments and regained service.

Duggan pointed to the success of DWSD’s Water Affordability Fair Saturday as an example of the kind of strategy that is needed.

“More than 400 Detroiters came out to DWSD’s east side office when we opened it on Saturday. Our customers paid their bills, entered into payment plans and learned about resources to help them conserve water and lower their costs.

“If we make it more convenient for Detroiters to make payment arrangements and we do a better job of communicating the available help for those truly in need, I’m convinced the great majority of Detroiters will step up and take care of their bills,” Duggan said. “Our customers now have one last opportunity until August 25 to make the appropriate arrangements.”

Ahead of Thursday’s announcement on the full plan, Director DWSD director Sue McCormick announced they would immediately extend the hours of its Customer Service Centers. All DWSD Customer Service Centers will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (extended from 8:30 am- 5:00pm) and all centers have new Saturday hours, from 8:00 AM to 3:00 p.m.

The DWSD Customer Care Call Center is now open from 8:00am to 7:00pm weekdays (extended from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm) and also has added the same Saturday hours as the walk-in centers of 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.  The Call Center number is 313-267-8000

Customers can visit any one the DWSD Customer Service Centers:

Downtown
735 Randolph St., First Floor

Eastside
13303 E. McNichols

Westside
15600 Grand River

READ RELATED STORY HERE. 

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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