Water Shut Offs?

March 21st, 2014

Thousands of homes, businesses, schools and commercial buildings in Detroit could be without water, as the city plans to shut off service for delinquent accounts, The Detroit News reports.

Nearly $270 million was overdue from water bills as of March 6, according to the Department of Water and Sewerage.

With more than half of the city’s customers behind on payments, the department is gearing up for an aggressive campaign to shut off service to 1,500-3,000 delinquent accounts weekly, said Darryl Latimer, the department’s deputy director.

Of the 323,900 businesses, schools and commercial buildings, 164,938 were overdue (that’s 51 percent), owing $175 million. Of the 296,115 residential accounts, 154,229 were overdue (that’s 52 percent), owing about $92 million.

So is this revenue collection part of the bankruptcy’s financial sweep in the city? The News’ sources say not necessarily:

Department officials say the initiative is unrelated to Detroit’s bankruptcy restructuring and is simply a renewed effort to remedy a longstanding problem. The fear of being stuck with Detroit’s delinquencies, however, has kept suburban leaders from embracing a regional water authority proposed by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.