DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — The deadline for the city of Detroit’s “water shutoff moratorium” has come and gone. Residents who were late on their water bills had until 6 p.m. Monday to pay up, or have their service shut off.
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is expected to send crews out Tuesday to turn off service to customers who owe money and haven’t made a payment arrangement.
City officials said the last of a series of “water fairs” has helped at least 1,300 residents avoid having their taps run dry as the city’s “shutoff moratorium” drew to a close Monday night. Special arrangements were made to accommodate many residents who were still in line as the deadline approached.
Detroit Water and Sewerage spokesperson Curtrise Garner talked with WWJ’s Jon Hewett outside of her eastside office on McNichols as the clock ticked down and close to 30 residents still remained in line at the deadline hour.
“We were able to go into our system and give them a few more days for a cushion,” Garner said. “If they came down here today, they have a little more time. But people who did not come down at all — and they’re on the shutoff list — they will be shutoff.”
Pam Rucker was one resident showed up outside of the office before the city’s self-imposed deadline, but she was still not able to pay her bill.
“I was coming to make a payment. I was told that they would be open until 6 p.m. and they’re not taking payments,” Rucker said. “I got here at about 5:30 p.m.”
Garner said that with all of the people who needed accommodation and that there are still options for those who could not make it.
“We’re giving people a voucher which says that you can still qualify for the 10 percent,” Garner said. “What we also did is we looked at people’s addresses who might have had shutoff dates for today or tomorrow and we were able to give them a little more time just in case they need to make a payment arrangement or they were coming from work.
“So, again, we’re still trying to work with everyone to the best of our ability,” Garner said.
The city says 1,140 customers signed payment agreements at a fair Saturday at Cobo Center, while others paid in full.
Detroit says 25,000 customers were enrolled in water payment plans Monday, up from 17,000 a month earlier.
The city stepped up shutoffs in March of those 60 days behind or owing more than $150. About 15,000 customers had service shut off in April-June.
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