DETROIT (WWJ) – Look for another round of residential water shutoffs to begin in Detroit next week.
The city began hanging notices on the doors of delinquent water customers earlier this month, giving them ten days to work out a payment plan with the Detroit Water Department.
More than 20,000 notices were given out last week.
“A large chunk of those shutoffs are, in fact, vacant properties,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “But every month that goes by, our records get more up-to-date.”
Referring to payment plans now being offered in the city, the mayor added: “I gotta tell you, I’ve talked to a lot of people in this town who thought that putting 10 percent down, being able to pay over two years and have the city make half of that payment for them as long as they stay on their payment plan (offered for low-income residents) was a very fair resolution.”
Duggan said because of the new program, people are paying up.
“A year ago the city was shutting people off without warning and it was causing chaos,” Duggan said. “Now, we hang the notices on the door a week ahead of time, more than half the people (are) coming to make arrangements immediately.”
“Others wait until the shut off, and in other cases, when they don’t come in, it’s nearly always a vacant property.”
Officials say the city has roughly 170,000 residential water customers, with more than 50 percent of those accounts 60 days or $150 delinquent.
The situation made national headlines last June when 7,200 customers were cut-off, prompting protests and drawing the attention of celebrities and the United Nations. A weeks-long moratorium on shutoffs allowed people behind on their bills to enter into payment plans.
[Detroit residents with overdue water bills can find information HERE].